Windows Vista SP1 is on the horizon. Should you jump in?
Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!
This is Leo Notenboom for askleo.net.
A few weeks ago I wrote an article that addressed the question Should I Install Windows XP
Well, alongside XP’s SP3, Microsoft is also in the process of preparing to
release the first service pack for Windows Vista: SP1.
For those that have read the [XP SP3] article, much of what I’m about to say
will sound hauntingly familiar.
First, as I record this, Vista SP1 has not yet been released. The average
computer user should not install anything that claims to be SP1.
Either it’s the Beta version, which is not final, or it’s bogus, and an attempt
to get you to install malware on your machine. At least wait for the official
In fact, if you can, wait a little longer and let others try it out
SP1 is big. Microsoft documentation claims that what they’re calling an
“Express” update using Windows Update where only the components you need are
downloaded, will average around 65 megabytes in size. There’s also be a much
larger, 450 Megabyte standalone package which can be downloaded once, and then
deployed on multiple machines without requiring a long download for each
In reading through the changes the Microsoft has made in SP1, one thing
stands out: there are long lists of “added support for …” this and that new
technology, but nowhere does it say “added support for old things that use to
work in Windows XP”.
In other words, it seems that if Vista didn’t work with your old printer
then Service Pack 1 is not likely to resolve the issue.
Out here in the trenches that’s one of the most common complaints about
Vista, and it’s disappointing that they’ve chosen not to address it.
In the long run, I expect Windows Vista SP1 to be a good thing, and an
overall improvement to the operating system. The list of issues fixed is quite
long. The risk, of course, is that in fixing one thing something else gets
broken. And no matter how long and thorough the testing cycle, it seems like
it’s inevitable that something always slips through.
I’ll be installing it on my Vista machine probably as soon as it’s
available. I’ll let you know how that goes. In the mean time, wait for the
official announcement, and if you like, wait a little more so folks like myself
can take the plunge first.
But once it’s been officially released and deployed and has a bit of a track
recorder, I expect I’ll be advising that all Vista users install it.
I’d love to hear what you think. Visit askleo.net and enter 12148 in the go
to article number box to access the show notes, the transcript and to leave me
a comment. While you’re there, browse the hundreds of technical questions and
answers on the site.
Till next time, I’m Leo Notenboom, for askleo.net.