By Elizabeth Montalbano
IDG News Service
April 03, 2007
The owner of a blog dedicated to software patches has posted online more
than 100 fixes he said are expected to be included in Windows Vista
Service Pack 1 (SP1), Microsoft Corp.'s first major update to its latest
Windows client OS.
Ethan Allen, owner of the The Hotfix blog and Web site, has posted a
preview and information center for SP1, a site that includes many of the
software patches Microsoft will include in the package, he said.
Allen works as a software quality assurance manager at a company in
Bellevue, Washington, and said he received the fixes from someone close
to Microsoft who has access to the technology.
Sources close to Microsoft confirmed Monday that it is currently testing
SP1. However, the company itself officially has yet to announce a
definite date for the software pack's release other than saying it will
be out in the second half of 2007 close to the next release of Windows
Server, code-named Longhorn. Microsoft also has been mum about specific
details on what fixes will be included in update.
According to Allen, SP1 will include device driver and software
compatibility technology that many users had hoped would be available in
the OS from the start. Among them will be support for third-party USB
and Firewire devices such as digital cameras, in particular products
from Sony Corp. that have been having compatibility problems with Vista,
There also will be patches to improve the TV playback and other Media
Center capabilities in Vista, as well as to repair inconsistencies with
the power management functions such as sleep and hibernation modes, he
What will be noticably missing from the service pack, however, are
updates to Vista security, Allen said. "What's most surprising is there
are hardly any security fixes at all," he said, adding that Vista is
already more secure than any previous version of Windows
A complete listing of patches that should be included in SP1 can be
found on the Vista SP1 preview site, and Allen said he will be adding
more as he gains access to them.
Microsoft typically releases service packs, or collections of software
patches, for major software products within a year of a product's first
full release to fix the software's initial glitches. Many products often
have least two service packs, and Microsoft is expected to have a third
service pack for Windows XP sometime this year.
Allen, a former Microsoft employee, has already posted on the Hotfix
site patches that he expects will be a part of Windows XP SP3, although
Microsoft has never confirmed that Allen's patches are valid.
Although the official word from Microsoft for Vista SP1's release date
is the second half of 2007, Allen said he suspects the release will be
timed closely with the busy holiday shopping season in November and
"I think what Microsoft is trying to do is patch this thing up so by
Christmas time when everyone is starting to go out and buy their
machines, Vista will be more compatible with applications and products
out there," he said.
Vista originally was supposed to be available during the 2006 holiday
buying season but Microsoft had to push up the release until Jan. 30,
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