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Performance and Reliability Update for Vista SP1

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A reliability and performance update is available for download for Windows Vista Service Pack 1. This specific release targets all Windows Vista editions, provided that they have the first service pack integrated. The update comes with the promise of improving the performance and reliability of the gold version of Vista SP1, and is not addressed at the RTM SKUs of the latest Windows client. Two updates are up for grabs for both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Vista SP1. "This update resolves issues that may affect some Windows Vista SP1-based computers. These issues have been reported by customers who use the Error Reporting service or Microsoft Customer Support Services," Microsoft informed.

The Redmond company softened all the rough corners of the RTM build of Vista, including
problems related to stability and speed. However, while some issues survived, others were introduced specifically by SP1. The current update is designed to tackle performance, responsiveness, and reliability issues affecting Vista SP1 in a variety of scenarios. At the bottom of this article, you will find the complete list of improvements that the update will deliver to Windows Vista.

The Vista SP1 reliability and performance update signals that a practice started with Vista RTM is turning into a tradition for Microsoft. When SP1 was in the early stages of development, the Redmond giant started serving bits and pieces of the service pack for Vista RTM as performance, reliability, and compatibility releases through Windows Update and the Download Center. The end purpose is, of course, to decrease the level of reliance on service packs, and put the Windows Update infrastructure into the limelight.

The advantage of WU over service pack releases is that end users get much more rapidly resolves and enhancements for their operating system. As far as Microsoft is concerned, the evolution of Windows platforms in sips rather than in big gulps is preferred due to the flexibility it introduces, along with the obvious benefits for users. Still, the dependency on service packs in corporate environments is a factor which will continue to force Microsoft to focus on service pack releases, even though the company is slowly moving Windows Update to the centerstage.

According to Microsoft, "this update includes the following improvements on a Windows Vista SP1-based computer:

• This update improves the stability of Windows Vista SP1-based computers by addressing some crashes that may occur when you try to check e-mail by using a POP3 e-mail client such as Windows Mail or Mozilla Thunderbird. The crashes may occur on a Windows Vista SP1-based computer in the following scenario incoming POP3 and outgoing SMTP traffic monitoring is enabled.

• Both a third-party antivirus application and an antispyware application are installed, such as the following applications: ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite by Check Point Software Technologies and SpySweeper by Webroot Software.

• This update improves the reliability of the Windows Vista SP1 based-computers by addressing some problems that occur when you delete user accounts by using the User Accounts item in Control Panel. When this problem occurs, the system may stop responding (hang).

• This update improves the reliability of Windows Vista SP1-based computers that experience issues in which large applications cannot run after the computer is turned on for extended periods of time. For example, when you try to start Excel 2007 after the computer is turned on for extended periods of time, a user may receive an error message that resembles the following:
EXCEL.EXE is not a valid Win32 application

• This update improves the reliability of Windows Vista SP1-based computers by reducing the number of crashes that may be caused by the Apple QuickTime thumbnail preview in Windows Live Photo Gallery.

• This update improves the performance of Windows Vista SP1-based computers by reducing audio and video (AV) stuttering. Such AV stuttering may occur when the audio or video component is streaming high definition content from a Windows Vista SP1-based computer that has a NVIDIA network adapter nForce driver version 67.5.4.0 that is installed to a Windows Media Center Extender device."

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