Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Is it worth getting, Vista SP1 and if so, how can I get it?

This one is for my friend's who are queued on Vista Support SP1

Let's tackle the second question first. In mid-April, Microsoft began downloading the update, called Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1), to computers via online automatic updating. So if your Vista computer has automatic updating turned on, you may already have it. To find out, right-click Computer in the Start menu and choose Properties. If SP1 has been installed, it will be listed in the "Windows edition" section. and you not need to carry any further vista installation.

If you don't have the update, there are two ways to get it. You can turn on automatic updating by going to Windows Update, which is in the All Programs folder in the Start menu. Or you can download it manually from microsoft.com/downloads. Just be aware that SP1 is a big file (435 MB), so it will take time to download, even with a high-speed Internet connection.

Is SP1 worth installing? In Microsoft's words, it is "the complete set of Windows Vista updates Microsoft has issued over the past year plus additional enhancements to improve your PC experience. SP1 doesn't add new features or require you to learn anything new - it simply makes your PC more reliable, run more smoothly and even more enjoyable to use, all at no charge."

As yet it's unclear whether those claims are true. But there are some tangible benefits to SP1. For example, it includes the myriad security fixes Microsoft has issued since the release of Vista in early 2007. It also lets you change the default desktop search program to use third-party software from companies including Google and Copernic.

Bottom line: Consider SP1 as more of an oil change than a major tuneup. If you're happy with the way Windows is working, I'd put off updating at least until SP1 has been out for awhile and any bugs are fixed.

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