What’s New In SP1

Traditionally Microsoft has focused nearly exclusively on fixes in their service packs, with new features being few and definitely not the focus of a service pack - new features instead usually come with a different OS. When SP2 for Windows XP was released in 2004, it broke this mold with a highly atypical number of new and long-needed features to go along with the fixes it integrated. Although at the time Microsoft called it an exception to the rule, Vista SP1 makes for a tradition of exceptions, bringing a large number of new features to Vista.

For new features, we’ll start with EFI. Vista x64 was previously scheduled to get Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) support, but this was pulled before the launch of Vista for reasons that were never made clear. Microsoft does have a working EFI implementation for the Itanium versions of Windows, so it was not a case of them being completely unprepared. With SP1 having been released we finally have a good hunch what this reason was: it appears Microsoft was waiting for the Unified EFI Forum to complete their 2.1 specification.  Microsoft’s previous implementations were for Intel’s EFI implementation prior to Intel releasing the specification to the UEFI Forum, and while the first UEFI specification was completed in early 2006, the Forum made a number of small but significant changes for the 2.1 specification which didn’t come until early 2007.

The end result is that the long-promised support for EFI (or rather UEFI; the original EFI 1.xx isn’t supported due to issues with x64) is finally here. As was originally going to be the case, UEFI support is limited to the x64 editions of Vista. Microsoft continues to justify this by claiming that EFI support for 32-bit x86 systems is a dead end, an argument that is particularly convincing a year and a half later now that systems are finally shipping with 4GB of RAM and need to/should be run in 64-bit mode anyhow.

With that said this change won’t make much of an immediate difference for Vista, but it finally gives PC manufacturers the ability to use UEFI if they desire, without having to resort to BIOS compatibility modules for Windows. We’re still waiting for someone besides Apple to start shipping consumer machines (or motherboards) with UEFI support, so this will be an issue we’ll pick up another day. (Ed: We did see a few demonstrations of UEFI boards at CES, though they're not yet publicly available.) For now we’re still looking forward to what motherboard manufacturers can do when freed from the ancient 16-bit real-mode for the startup/configuration abilities, along with the new features like GUID Partition Tables that offer a nearly unlimited number of partitions and better partition resizing.

With the addition of UEFI support, Microsoft has also made a few tweaks to the Windows pre-installation environment that should be more immediately useful. For anyone that has attempted to install Vista with a disc containing both the x86 and x64 versions of the operating system, they will have first-hand experience with the fact that two pre-installation environments were required – one for each version of the OS as an environment could not install the other version of the OS. That experience has been unified somewhat with SP1; now the x86 environment can install the x64 version of the OS (but not the other way around, interestingly enough). This effectively fixes one of the more annoying quirks in the Vista installation process, although the combined size of both the x86 and x64 installers means such disks still aren’t the default since their contents can’t fit on a single-layer DVD. For now Microsoft is targeting this towards IT administrators who roll their own custom installer images and who now will only need one image no matter what their machine is (x86, x64, or x64-UEFI).

AMD’s graphics division is also getting a pick-me-up with SP1, with the inclusion of Direct3D 10.1 support. AMD’s HD3000 series cards are still the only cards to support D3D 10.1, but this has mattered little since D3D 10.1 wasn’t out at the time that AMD released those cards. This allows AMD to push the issue harder although we’re not sure it will make much of a difference. Given the slow adaptation of DirectX/Direct3D 10 by game developers, we haven’t seen any real momentum towards D3D 10.1. Developers may simply skip Direct3D 10.1 and go for Direct3D 11 when it is finally released, otherwise sticking with 10.0 for the time being. (Ed: We've heard from Microsoft and several game developers that DX10.1 is not a major update and that they will do exactly that.)

Hotpatching support has also finally been added to Vista, which like UEFI is another one of those features that was on the drawing board at one point but disappeared before Vista was released. The lack of hotpatching support, otherwise known as the ability to patch running software without a reboot, has long been an irksome issue with Windows. As Microsoft has implemented it, this support is limited to Windows components (as opposed to any dreams of driver hotpatching), and we’re eager to see some patches for Vista SP1 to see this feature in action and to judge whether Microsoft really is able to reduce the amount of reboots required in patching.

Also new to SP1 are a few security related APIs for application developer use. The first API is for Data Execution Prevention (DEP, aka the NX/XD bit), a buffer-overflow prevention feature that was introduced with XP SP2. By default DEP is only enabled for certain Microsoft services because of its unpredictable performance with applications not built and tested against it. With the addition of this API, developers will be able to control how DEP functions, so that if their code isn’t completely DEP-safe, they may disable certain parts of DEP for their specific application, allowing some protection from DEP without the need to rewrite the offending code or require that DEP be disabled for that program entirely. This is effectively a precursor towards Windows being globally DEP enabled at some later point.

The second security API is for security software vendors, some of whom were caught off guard by Vista x64’s Kernel Patch Protection feature. Certain security/anti-virus software patches the Windows kernel in order to enact their defensive operations, and with KPP this was prevented. The issue turned into a big enough political quagmire that the European Commission was looking in to the matter as an anticompetitive action. As a result Microsoft has developed an API to allow applications to exert some control over KPP and allow those (and only those) applications to patch the kernel. Allowing any patching seems like a poor idea that goes against the goals and security offered by KPP, but this is an issue that has long since been decided on, and the vendors requesting the ability to continue patching the kernel have won out.

Rounding out the major additions to Vista SP1 are items to support new technology. The more pressing of these is full support for 802.11n Draft 2.0 wireless networking, which in spite of not being a final version of the 802.11n standard has quickly become a de-facto standard. While it is possible for a pre-SP1 machine to use 802.11n, it requires an additional level of work by the hardware developer to write more driver code and applications to compensate for the lack of native support - the OS has such support for 802.11a/b/g, thus handling most of the work. In effect SP1 brings 802.11n support to the same level as a/b/g.

Finally we come to exFAT, the next-generation successor to the ubiquitous FAT32 file system. For anyone that has used FAT32 in recent times on a large drive, you should be familiar with its limitations in terms of files allowed in a single directory, a lack of security permissions/access control lists, and a particularly harsh 4GB limit for file sizes. The last two items in particular have been making FAT32 more difficult to use as file sizes continue to increase, and the move to Windows XP gave home users real file system security through a file system with ACL support (NTFS). exFAT in turn is designed to be FAT32’s successor, implementing a modern but still light file system design that supports all of these missing features (although Vista SP1 doesn’t appear to support ACLs, even though it’s part of the standard).

At this point in time exFAT exists in an odd space between FAT32 and NTFS that makes it hard to determine if Microsoft is going give exFAT a reasonable foothold. With the continuing perfection of NTFS drivers for non-Windows operating systems and Microsoft’s own fixes to NTFS removable disk support in SP1, NTFS has been slowly becoming the de-facto standard file system for cross-OS disk access, and like exFAT NTFS is a modern file system that doesn’t suffer from the problems posed by FAT32. Furthermore Microsoft has been successful in securing patents for FAT32 (a standard that was previously treated as an open one), making some groups leery of exFAT. exFAT does have an advantage over NTFS thanks to being a lighter weight file system. It's easier to deal with exFAT on devices with limited processing power and memory, and exFAT possesses a much smaller data structure overhead (we measured NTFS at 30MB vs. <1MB for exFAT on a 512MB flash drive), but this may not be enough.

exFAT as the common cross-OS file system seems unlikely at this point (as a result Microsoft is wisely not targeting it towards this use), so what support it does pick up will be limited to mobile devices. But how many mobile devices are in immediate need of ACLs? Or support for files over 4GB? There’s a somewhat convincing argument for using exFAT with digital picture frames if you can gather a large enough number of photos (roughly sixty-five thousand), but that’s the extent of "good" reasons to use exFAT at the moment. We’re not convinced Microsoft is going to see much use of exFAT outside of Windows Mobile 6 devices given the high degree of overlap with NTFS; if the time comes for mobile devices where FAT32 is too little, they may very well switch to NTFS due to the much wider base of support.

What’s Fixed In SP1, Cont The Test


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  • blppt - Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - link

    I could be just imagining things, but I could swear that Aero is noticably more responsive after the SP1 update.

    System has been up for 14 days since I installed the RTM SP1 on x64 Home Premium. I'd say so far it is quite stable.
  • Griswold - Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - link

    It does feel snappier, especially switching to non-aero mode, for example when maximizing/minimizing mediacenter.

    Fruthermore, the UAC secure desktop mode doesnt feel as sluggish anymore when the system is under heavy load.
  • Etern205 - Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - link

    Can any tell me what buid number is this sp1 and is this the same version as it was released to RTM?

    From what I've read some where it says the build number 1806 or is it 1084 has a major bug and there is another version with the build number 20xx.

  • Tristesse27 - Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - link

    I'm always amazed at the way some people refer to Vista ("wretch" was used in this thread I believe). Vista Hate has taken on a life of its own, with I think many people claiming to hate Vista despite never having used it.

    The benchmarks that review sites keep coming out with seem rather silly. Vista vs SP1 vs XP SP2 vs Vista x64 SP1 vs XP SP1 vs .... As a user I'm more concerned with stability, and Vista has been very good to me throughout all my gaming. One horrible BSOD loop occurred from what I can remember, and that's because I was trying to use Alcohol 120's XP version. Plus I have to admit I'm a sucker for prettiness, and Vista is pretty damn slick.
  • WaltC - Thursday, February 28, 2008 - link

    Every time Microsoft introduces a new OS the nutballs come crawling out of the woodwork to post their "expert" hypercritical opinions...;) It's happened every single time, without exception. The "Vista sucks" bandwagon is par for the course at the moment, as basically you're hearing from people who don't like change and are really, really upset that Microsoft is forcing them back to school once again, or forcing them to buy new hardware, or both. I think it's fairly sad. But not to worry--a year from now these same hypercritical "experts" will be using nothing but Vista and they'll be swearing up and down that they never, ever said what they said about Vista...;) It is as inevitable as the sunrise.

    I was going to comment about what a poorly written article this was, but it's so full of mistakes and propaganda that I just don't have the time or inclination to write the lengthy rebuttal to this article that ought to be written, point by point. So a general critique will have to suffice.

    I've been using Vista on several networked machines at home for a year and have been running a lot of 3d-games and application software without experiencing any of the problems alluded to in this article. I did not "wait" on SP1 and have absolutely no regrets. The only thing about Vista SP1 that mildly interests me is that like all service packs it rolls months of updates into a single installation package.

    What's really ironic to me is that when I installed XP in November of 2001, I had a lot more issues--mainly driver issues--with XP than I have ever had with Vista. None of these so-called "experts" seems to have experienced that for themselves with XP (I think they really did but don't choose to remember it because it might get in the way of their Vista bashing).

    Indeed, in the lopsided and dishonest way that these "experts" write about XP, someone new to computers in general today would think that the current state of XP in terms of drivers and updates is the same as the original state of XP when it shipped. The truth is that on both counts the XP experience today is nothing like the XP experience just one year after XP initially shipped.

    Furthermore, prior to Vista shipping, these same people couldn't criticize XP enough; but once Vista shipped then they adopted XP as the Holy Grail of OSes...;) I don't have time to speculate on the reasons why these people are doing this, but I will say that I think that their fear that Vista is too good of an OS is actually what drives them. They think that by criticizing Vista and instead recommending yesterday's XP (which prior to Vista they could never say anything good about) they will be hurting Microsoft in the process, and that I think is their real goal as unfortunate as it may be.

    The really pathetic part of all of these Vista-bashing festivities is that the people who write these kinds of silly articles focus on gnats while they swallow camels whole. I mean, take for instance the teeny tiny spectrum of complaints this author pontificates on to the point of tedium in this article.

    You would think by reading it that this handful of complaints constitutes all the difference there is between XP and Vista. The author would have the reader focus on the tree and remain blind to the forest behind it. From new driver models to greatly enhanced security, just for starters, Vista is leaps and bounds ahead of XP. But you'd never, ever guess that to be true from reading this article, would you?

    Here are just *a few* problems I had with this article:

    *"We’re still waiting for someone besides Apple to start shipping consumer machines (or motherboards) with UEFI support, so this will be an issue we’ll pick up another day. (Ed: We did see a few demonstrations of UEFI boards at CES, though they're not yet publicly available.)"

    As I understand it, EFI is merely an Intel technology that Apple ships in Macs alongside a lot of other Intel technology, and I see the primary benefit of that to Apple being that it makes it that much harder to install and run OSX on non-Apple x86 hardware platforms which are essentially all BIOS driven--which is exactly the way Apple wants to keep it for as long as possible.

    It would have been nice if the author had bothered to tell us why he thinks EFI is better than a BIOS for x86 32-bit machine environments. It would also be nice and lend additional credibility to authors hypercritical of anything Microsoft does if they'd refrain from alluding to "Apple" every time they want to criticize Microsoft. That sort of allusion is a dead giveaway of their intent, imo.

    *"Developers may simply skip Direct3D 10.1 and go for Direct3D 11 when it is finally released, otherwise sticking with 10.0 for the time being. (Ed: We've heard from Microsoft and several game developers that DX10.1 is not a major update and that they will do exactly that.)"

    Ahem...developers did not "skip" DX9 to go to DX10. Not even close. Of the developers currently supporting DX10, *all of them* also support DX9 with those games. Indeed, Vista itself did not skip DX9 in order to support DX10, but Vista also supports DX9 completely and fully--as DX9 is but a subset of DX10, and thus it has always been with D3d. All of my DX9-only games run great under Vista, without exception.

    The implication that developers may "skip" 10.1 to "wait" for DX11 is therefore ludicrous and silly as , just like DX9.0c, developers could support it or not as they chose without the necessity of having to "wait" on DX10. DX9.0c was also billed by Microsoft as a minor update--which did not keep any software developer who wished to do so from supporting it. Indeed, now, most of them support DX9.0c, don't they?

    The salient point is that minor update or not, DX10.1 is real and some developers will choose to support it even though they will also continue to support DX9 and DX10.0 at the same time and in the same games. There is no need to "wait" on DX11 at all, nor is there a reason to do so.

    *"With the addition of this API, developers will be able to control how DEP functions, so that if their code isn’t completely DEP-safe, they may disable certain parts of DEP for their specific application, allowing some protection from DEP without the need to rewrite the offending code or require that DEP be disabled for that program entirely. This is effectively a precursor towards Windows being globally DEP enabled at some later point."

    While the last sentence above is certainly true, I fear the author has once again allowed his obvious prejudices and personal opinions to influence his judgment. As I understand it, the purpose of the DEP API is *not* to provide developers with a way to get around DEP, but is rather to teach them how to program their software so that it will not break when DEP is enforced. Think about it a moment...the purpose of DEP is purely security--if Microsoft was to provide an API to developers to show them how to get around DEP then Microsoft might as well simply remove DEP from the OS altogether. Obviously, the purpose of the DEP API is *not* to allow developers to "get around" DEP.

    *"Among the 24 pages(!) of hotfixes that have been rolled into Vista SP1 are favorites such as the virtual address space fix and a fix for a conflict with NVIDIA’s USB controller and >2GB of RAM. Other additions include fixes for ejecting iPods, a fix for HybridSLI/HybridCrossfire (which is why the launch of these technologies is tied to SP1), and a fix for AMD Barcelona processors causing system reboots during Windows installations. While we could rattle off the entire 24 page list of hotfixes, the important thing to note here is that there are a number of small issues that have been “fixed” prior to SP1 but are only now being widely corrected."

    Talk about bias--note the exclamation point rendered after the phrase "24 pages(!)"...;) The intent here, of course, is to greatly exaggerate the "bugginess" of pre-SP1 Vista. There is no other intent possible here, because the "24 pages (!)" the author alludes to without explaining what he means by saying "24 pages" is not just a list of the updates and patches--it is the number of pages listing not only the updates and patches themselves, but also *all of the accompanying documentation* on each and every one of those updates and/or patches.

    I know this must be true because when I go out to Vista Update and display my history of patches applied, the entire list takes up less than a single on-screen page display. This kind of tactic is just too sad for words--as the author also fails to mention that people like me, who haven't yet installed Vista SP1, but who have already updated their installation via Vista Update *already have* better than 90% of SP1 installed and running at the present time.

    Here again we see some mention of Apple--this time for the iPod eject mechanism. It would have been nice if the author had bothered to remember that Apple had updated its own iPod-related software to run properly under Vista some months ago--which was not a Microsoft fix but purely an Apple fix. But obviously he can't be tasked with criticizing anyone except Microsoft.

    Last, of course, here I am puttering along with pre-SP1 Vista, which the author more or less characterizes as being non-usable because of the "24 pages (!)" of bugs--and, gee, I'm not having any problems!!!! Wonder how that's possible? Could it be because out of the *tens of millions* of lines of code in Vista that the "24 pages(!)" of bug fixes in Vista SP1 are very, very small potatoes? I certainly think so.

    *"This won’t change the public perception of UAC (or Apple jokes on the subject), but any reduction is welcome and perhaps will stem the tide of Vista users who are completely turning off this critical system feature."

    Apple jokes?...;) Wow, what an informative bit of drivel that is...;) Apple people routinely crack jokes about subjects they have no understanding of, so what else is new? It would have been nice if the author would have bothered to tell us what UAC is about and why it exists--but he cannot be bothered with doing anything aside from talking about his own impressions of "public perceptions" it seems. Such a pity.

    My own perception of UAC is that I have become so used to it that it simply doesn't bother me at all anymore, and the thought of "turning it off" seems really ridiculous--as why would I want to drop back to the lesser security levels of XP??? So sad that in his haste to write negative commentary the author cannot manage to find the time or the words to explain what UAC is and why it's not a good idea for people to turn it off.

    The change that SP1 brings to UAC file operations strikes me as entirely positive--where's the beef? Are we to encourage the ignorance of general computer users by letting them think that turning off UAC is a good thing simply because "Apple users" might ignorantly crack jokes about it? How does that sort of attitude help AT's readership?

    *"The advantage of this is that it will reduce the number of computer owners thinking something is wrong because Windows doesn’t “see” all of their RAM; on the other hand this is clearly disadvantageous because they will no longer be informed that Windows in fact isn’t using all of their RAM, nor will there be an easy way any longer to tell how much RAM it is capable of using."

    The whole point of this change is that users will correctly see that the amount of ram they have installed is present and accounted for. It would be nice if the author would tell us what *his* solution would be for this situation. But, alas, he doesn't--he just, once again, criticizes Microsoft whether they do or they don't.

    *"For SP1 we were hoping for a complete overhaul of the MMCSS so that it ceased adversely affecting network performance, unfortunately what we’re getting is something about mid-way towards that."

    I don't have much to say here except that the "problem" the author spends a great deal of time and wordage expounding upon is one I have not experienced. Possibly that could well be because I'm too busy using and enjoying Vista to run benchmark after benchmark in hopes of uncovering something wrong with it which only those benchmarks will indicate...;) I have better things to do with my time.

    *"When it comes to performance, anything is better than Explorer here. The silver lining here is that SP1 has improved WinRAR’s already fast performance by a further and unexpected 28%, making the argument to use anything but Explorer a very easy one."

    If there's something wrong with the idea that Vista is not intended to allow the end user to avoid purchasing or using third-party software, I'd like to know what it is...;) I mean, criticizing "MineSweeper" because it isn't "The Witcher" just strikes me as ludicrous and a waste of verbiage. Who cares? These ancillary programs in all Windows versions are meant to provide basic functionality and that's all. To complain that they aren't the best available just makes no sense. But I guess when your basic goal is to dump on Windows everything is in bounds, isn't it?

    *"We’re not convinced Microsoft is going to see much use of exFAT outside of Windows Mobile 6 devices given the high degree of overlap with NTFS; if the time comes for mobile devices where FAT32 is too little, they may very well switch to NTFS due to the much wider base of support."

    So? This is a "problem" for whom, exactly? Seems to me the more choice people have in matters of this type, the better off they are. Yawn...another mountain out of a molehill.

    *"Vista vs. Vista SP1"

    Gee, after presumably reading through the "24 pages (!)" written about SP1, you'd think the author might have concluded that SP1 doesn't contain anything relative to the three little software benchmarks he wastes an entire page talking about, including a display of colorful frame-rate bar charts.

    I mean, what is the point here, relative to SP1? When the author says "Vista versus Vista SP1, is he talking about Vista with *no updates* versus Vista with SP1? Or is he contrasting Vista + all updates currently obtainable through Vista Update versus Vista with SP1? We don't know and he doesn't say. What is his point here? Is it to suggest that there's no reason to go to SP1 because he sees no performance improvement in these three benchmarks? He doesn't tell us.

    *"One thing that is unfortunate for Microsoft with SP1 is that there is a good chance that system performance immediately following the patching process will be lower than it was prior to patching."

    Oh, gee--installing SP1 clears the caches and the author seeks to imply that SP1 is going to "run slower" than non-SP1 for up to "a couple of days." Wow, what a criticism that is--I need to chuck Vista out of my window right now!...;) Pity he doesn't bother to tell us whether or not after SP1 rebuilds the caches if our performance for the next *few years* will be a bit better. I guess it just didn't occur to him to think about it that way...Oh, well...

    *"Finally, coming into SP1 we heard some concerns about application and driver compatibility."

    Really? I didn't. What I heard was that there was a problem with some driver *install* routines that didn't mesh well with SP1 precisely because the driver developers had not adhered to Microsoft's guidelines when they wrote their driver install software. That's what *I* heard--I heard zero about "driver compatibility."

    You'd think the author would have researched this as opposed to relying on "what I heard"...;) Wouldn't you? Indeed, the only software I have ever seen to "break" under a service pack is software that was improperly coded by its developers in the first place. Microsoft doesn't publish its programming rules and guides for the heck of it. Microsoft has a purpose in doing so, and much of that purpose revolves around future compatibility. Most developers follow the guidelines and that's why the great bulk of software and driver install routines *don't break* under a service pack.

    I've said all I want to say here and I'll close with the admonition that AT much better vet it's articles in the future so that they provide relevant and informative information as opposed to providing little more than anti-Microsoft, or as in this case, anti-Vista, marketing propaganda. I still use XP on my principle machine at work because my employer is too cheap to update his hardware and software, and there's not a day goes by but when I think to myself how crude and rude XP is by comparison to Vista. That's my opinion on the matter.

  • chizow - Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - link

    Good job covering the main changes and fixes in SP1 Ryan. Very readable yet maintains a lot of technical info without getting bogged down. Linked for future reference once I get SP1 RTM installed as I'm still running RC1.

    As others stated though, it would've been nice to have compared to original RTM or even XP. I know that's exceedingly difficult to do with Windows since its very hard to run snapshots and your system may not run at all without Windows updates, but once you start updating you can't stop the flood of updates. Still, I think a lot of "performance" and "compatibility" improvements will be lost when comparing a fully updated/hotfixed pre-SP1 install to SP1 as many of the SP1 hotfixes were released and available prior to SP1.

    At first I thought you overlooked file and network transfers but on closer examination saw it covered on Page 3 extensively. That was a big concern about Vista and while initial speeds with RTM were very slow, there were a few patches that gradually brought my copy speeds closer to those of XP. Also, wouldn't testing copy speeds with a single HDD skew your copy testing a bit? When I copy Raptor to Raptor my copy speeds are very close to the synthetic scores I see with HDtach/HDtune etc at ~70 MB/s.

    In any case, nice job again with this and I enjoy reading your articles on Vista/Windows. You seem to be extremely familiar with Vista and the various stack changes compared to XP as demonstrated in your Messy Transition articles and some keen insights here (like the multimedia stack/transfer caps). I believe Derek (any relation?) mentioned AT would be doing a final XP to Vista 64 comparison for gaming/performance prior to switching to Vista 64 for all test suites and I'd personally think you would be best suited for the task. Now that SP1 has RTM'd this would be the perfect time to document the differences as well.
  • jamawass - Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - link

    I'm interested in the comments on recommending Vista 64 as one's main system. Aren't there still driver issues? Also I use citrix clients for remote access does anyone know if it's compatible with x64? I haven't had any problem with it on vista 32 even though MS pops up a message stating that it isn't compatible. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Thursday, February 28, 2008 - link

    Interested here as well. I'll be building a new system in the next 2-4 months and will need it to do everything from general OS to gaming. I'm leaning towards Vista64 with 4gigs of ram (2X2) allowing me to upgrade to 8 if needed in the future. I just don't know how the driver support is currently. Reply
  • takumsawsherman - Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - link

    One of the more interesting experiences I've had is moving a file to the desktop. For example, an HP LaserJet PCL6 driver, (12-15MB?) being moved to the desktop under Vista took something like 20 seconds on a customer's system.

    Now, the clever among you will ask "why move a laserjet driver to the desktop?". Good point. It doesn't matter what file. Pick any file of that size. What's the hold up? Also, UAC wants to crab about it unless disabled. Has this been improved? XP takes just a couple of seconds to move it (really, isn't it just updating the record on the filesystem anyway?). It took longer to move than to download, on Vista.

    I can't say I've tested Vista too extensively, as I have mostly business customers, and I have been having them stick to XP. However, a few people went out and bought laptops. They call me, miserable, because of the lousy performance and confusing nature of this wretch called Vista.
  • TA152H - Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - link

    They use the term x64.

    The term x86 came from the fact there were processors like 186, 286, 386, 486. x86-64 is OK, or something like that, or 64-bit x86, but x64 is derived from what? There were 164 chips, made by Intel? It sounds more like something of Alpha origin.

    Stop being lazy and learn how to type.

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