Keith Combs' Blahg

Ramblings from another nerd on the grid

I got your back - Windows Vista SP1 coming sooner than you think

I got your back - Windows Vista SP1 coming sooner than you think

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It goes without saying that there has been a considerable amount of feedback around our release schedule for Windows Vista SP1.  Don't think for a second that because I'm silent about such issues on my blog, that I am not working our internal communication channels to be your advocate.

Being an advocate means I get an opportunity to assess the situation with my "customer base", which is now world wide, and offer my opinion on what we should or should not do.  I've done that in the past and will do it in the future.  It doesn't mean I'll get what I want, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

vista_wallpaper However, I support our product groups and senior leadership decisions.  If Microsoft chooses not to release some software when you think it should be released, we usually have a darn good reason for the decision.  I am not privy to all of the details of those decisions so when I offer an opinion back to our senior leadership, I can't get away with the type of comments I've seen posted on a variety of blogs and websites this week.  I have to be a lot more diplomatic.  Diplomatic doesn't mean I can't be direct, and I'm known for being direct. 

The good news is that there are some changes coming to the release schedule I think you will like.  Keep an eye on the Windows Vista Product Group Blog @ for the update.

You should know that I, and members of my team take IT Pro satisfaction and dissatisfaction seriously.  My team no longer just includes the US IT Pro Evangelists.  I consider the IT Pro Evangelists world wide to be part of my team and I assure you, there is plenty of discussion around what happened this week.  The release schedule was only part of the discussion.

Suffice it to say I listen.  So do my peers.  You may not always know we have your back, but we do.  We try really hard to keep you informed, educated, entertained and happy.  It doesn't always work out that way, but we try.  So if you're so inclined, give us an F on our report card for the week or month.  We'll try hard to get an A+ next time.

With that in mind, come see us at the launch events.  We'll have some fun.

[UPDATE for 2/9]  I thought Mike and the Windows team were going to provide an update yesterday.  Obviously they didn't.  Maybe we'll get one Sunday or Monday.  Got a crystal ball?

[UPDATE for 2/11]  Mike's update is now at the link above. 

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  • Hello,

    I've tried every patch, and SP for Vista and believe it cannot be fixed.   It is like a house infested from basement to attic with mold - it would be far better to burn it to the ground and start again - frankly I have no idea how it went through 5 years of testing without anyone noticing how incredibly slow file transfers, copies, moves, network throughput, network access, and gaming performance is.   The benchmarks already posted about the final SP show some mild improvement in a couple of areas but no real FIX.  

    With all the new hardware that has been released since XP came out - I would think MS would be thinking - how can we make Vista perform even faster than XP with 64 bit, core 2 processors, 2 GIGs, gigabit nics, etc.   Instead they said if you have a Core2 processor, 2 GIgs of memory etc you can make Vista run as fast as XP on a P4, with 1 GIG of memory and a 10 Mbit nic.   I think if the developers were actually skilled they'd make Vista outperform XP on a P4, and blow the doors off XP on a Core 2 processor.

    I'd like MS to do what most IT professionals have done and give up on Vista and concentrate on Windows 7.   Sure MS had the opportunity to realize how important performance is to businesses and make that the focus of Windows 7.  

    On the plus side MS did stimulate the economy for IT consultants as many are making a pretty penny upgrading PCs from Vista to XP.

  • Keith Combs' Blahg : I got your back - Windows Vista SP1 coming sooner than you think: http://blogs

  • It's too late. People are already upset and anyone can download it from the torrents. Might as well save you effort as the damage is done. It's been a week. The process is just too slow at Microsoft.

    Thank you for helping, but the people above you are apparently jsut too incompetent to understand what developers really are.

  • Keith,

    Thank you for posting this. Did you realize that the press received copies of SP1? In fact, George Ou from Ziff Davis actually posted pictures of the DVD's sent by Microsoft for their testing. I'm not sure I understand why it's good enough for the press to report on it using their hardware knowing that their will be bad driver experiences (and there are already a number of articles describing SP1 as benckmarking slower in a number of areas than the original Vista). That's what is really irking me at the moment. It also seems like this is the last people you would want to send the code to at this point wince they are reviewing the code with the known problems with Microsfot's blessing to do so and tell this to the world.

    Well, I do have another question. Does this mean there will be two versions of the same service pack after the driver issues have been worked out? If so, I'm not understanding what "Release to Manufacturing" means. Will we have .1 releases for service packs now? Not trying to be funny. Seriously trying to sort this out and understand what is going on.


  • Keith Combs' Blahg : I got your back - Windows Vista SP1 coming sooner than you think: http://blogs

  • The sooner this is released the better, my members seem to be downloading builds from anyware in the hope of finding the RTM build.

  • great news, thank god MS finally listened to us, cant believe you guys only just revealed the final build number in your blogs 1-2days ago, you should give the build number and md5 hash once you rtm a product as we all know releases will be leaked to torrents, no point having mass confusion and people possibly installing old builds or even viruses. Even though you dont support torrents you should still try to protect users.

    Please give us build numbers and strings and md5 hashes in the future for other software releases.


  • When you download from a torrent, how do you know what you are getting?  That seems scary to me.

    When a product is posted to the subscriber download center, a SHA-1 hash is provided for the .ISO image.

    Personally I would prefer to see the .ISO chopped up into 100meg chunks using something like WINRAR.  Then it makes a download much easier with a multi threaded copy or file transfer program.

    Boe, in my case, I've seen more than just mild improvements.  Back on 1/27/2008 I posted that I was seeing more than a 50% improvement in copy performance.  I guess I need to get out my stopwatch and do some big honking copies.  I still have some machines on the RTM bits and won't be upgrading them until the WU client offers it.

    I wish I still had my old Compaq Evo n620c so I could gage the performance improvements on a clunker like it.  It's harder now because all of the machines I have (except my duaghters) are pretty new.

  • btw, will ms be updating the AIK so that we can slipstream sp1 as currently you cant and only people with technet/msdn etc can download the sp1 integrated iso, its inefficient have to format, put vista on then put sp1 on, especially with several computers every 3 months or so.

    as for torrent sites you can download from private torrent sites which dont host fakes or viruses, just torrents from the scene, but yeah obv not advised. But i really want to have a sp1 integrated iso to burn, will prob have to download 1 from a torrent site that a tester leaked as MS seems to have dropped this to meet their arbitrary deadlines:((

    People would rather wait than to have a non-complete release, just look at Vista RTM! most ppl wont touch it until sp1 is out.

    hope you can reply about the integration.

    thanks for your time!

  • There are a number of scenarios especially around the Health Care and Government spaces. The bugs with Vista will eventually be fixed, but the ROI just isn't there either. That is what is killing Vista right now for at least my sales.

    The problem is, XP is working great for the majority of them. Telling customer Vista fixes all sorts of security issues usually gets a response such as the following, "We  have tools such as Norton that already works." We tell them about better policies and such and their response generally is, "Yes, but our policies are already good enough for what we do. Besides, we'd have to turn off UAC anyway due to complaints. People don't like it at home, they aren't going to like it here either. That's the reality."

    So, the real question is what exactly do at this point? $2-400 per machine for Vista to gain what? It's like Vista is a great technology in search of a solution. The whole Vista sales team (and not to knock Mr. Nash, but he's doing a terrible job at the moment) process is not delivering that ROI.

    Now with all that mess going on, we find ourselves in the midst of another bruhaha regarding yet another Vista debacle (Vista is now the Brittany Spears of the computer world).

    We find out that the beta testers all have it, the media has it, the pirate bay has it, uTorrent has it. It's available in every language in both 32 and 64-bit flavors. You want it fully integrated or a separate install? Yep, Google has 3000+ hits for that too. Everyone but us.

    I'm sorry, exactly what is Mr. Nash's explanation at this point when faced with this evidence? Sorry as well, but I disagree with your point wholeheartedly. Simply, there is not a darn good reason for this.

  • Keith,

    I understand the position you are in, having to answer to management decisions and not being privy to upper-management's reasoning for such decisions.  Its unfortunate for front line guys like you who work with your Partners that you have to bear the brunt of this debacle.  

    Upper management is broken.  Decisions like this are one of many broken decisions that upper management has made over the years.  Decisions that defy common sense, logic, and reasoning.

    I know that you need to be diplomatic when dealing with your boss and boss's boss.  However this inbreeding of stuffed-shirt management at Microsoft is poisoning the company and devalues the hard work that guys like you do in order to deliver a good product to your paying customers.  

    This is hardly the forum for a referendum on boneheaded decisions Microsoft has made in the past 10 years, but it makes me wonder what Bill Gates would say to his senior management in light of the uproar that has come about with this debacle.   How many would still have jobs today?    

    Believe me, I understand your position.  This failure to comprehend the real world implications of arbitrary "Senior Management" decisions is exactly the point of the uproar.  Gates had vision of things, but he also knew that his paying customers were what turned him into one of the richest men in the world.  Does Ballmer get that?   I don't think so.  I don't have confidence that he even comprehends what he says.  "Developers, I love those guys!"  ... Really?  If Ballmer really feels that way he should put his boot right in the rear-end of all the "Senior Management" behind this.  If he doesn't, perhaps its time for a regime change at the top of Microsoft.

    Good luck fighting the system, you're going to need it.

  • -Boe

    Hey, that's a great idea! Let's all make a better OS! It should be faster and have more features! How come I never thought of that?

  • Keith, I hope that Microsoft will also be providing assistance and/or utilities to help beta testers uninstall the release candidate versions of SP1 they have been testing. The one on my laptop refuses to go !


  • Thanks for the response - however as you said - you saw a 50% increase in performance in some cases - I've said it before and I'll say it again - in elementary school you learn 2 x 0 = 0   You can make Vista 4 times as fast in certain functions and it still won't compete with XP.

    If you are serious about benchmarks, I'd suggest you do what I did -

    Using identical machines try the following with any version of Vista with any patches - even with any items you want on or off.  Now with XP - don't even bother to patch it if you don't want to but make sure it doesn't have any additional overhead you don't have on the Vista machine - e.g. if you don't have AV or firewall on Vista - turn them off on XP just to be somewhat fair.   Don't turn on indexing - if you do - just to be fair don't use WINS3 - use google or a better indexing program.

    File copies and moves to the same hard drive

    - a folder with hundreds of files

    - a large file 2GIG or more

    File copies and moves to another drive on the same system

    - a folder with hundreds of files

    - a large file 2GIG or more

    File copies and moves to the file server (windows 2003) - try in both directions

    - a folder with hundreds of files

    - a large file 2GIG or more

    Gaming performance - use 3 of the most common and check FPS

    Quake 4

    FEAR - any version

    World of Warcraft

    I encourage you to run these tests both on an old system (P4) and a new system (core 2)

    Perhaps you'll become our voice at MS and encourage them to throw in the towel on Vista and hopefully learn from their mistakes when building Windows 7