Vista Fixes Released, Then Removed
Microsoft's continuing infatuation with Windows Vista secrecy continues, with the company posting some updates on its Windows Connect site, then pulling them down.
Microsoft's continuing infatuation with Windows Vista secrecy continues, with the company posting some updates on its Windows Connect site, then pulling them down. AeroXperience, a Web site dedicated to the "Windows Enthusiast Community," originally had links to two "Vista Performance and Reliability Packs," as Microsoft called them, with a number of upgrades and fixes. Links to the updates, which at one time were posted on Microsoft's Windows Connect download site, were taken down, and Windows Connect doesn't appear to have links anymore.
Updates were released for both 32- and 64-bit versions of Vista, according to another site, nV News, a fansite for NVIDIA graphics products, giving specific Knowledge Base article numbers.
Microsoft admitted the existence of the KB articles this morning in an e-mail to the Redmond Media Group: "We also deliver improvements to Windows via Windows Update, which is an excellent channel for providing our customers with the most significant updates as they happen. We plan to make these two updates (KB938194 and KB938979) broadly available via Windows Update in the near future," a Microsoft spokesman wrote.
Mary Jo Foley, a columnist for Redmond Media Group, wrote in a July 30 blog entry that the fix packs were made available to selected testers around July 20. Speculation on various Web sites is that the updates could be made generally available on the next Patch Tuesday, which would be Aug. 14.
The fixes are expected to be part of Vista SP1, the release date of which remains a mystery. In response to specific questions, Microsoft released the same canned statement about SP1 that it gives to reporters who inquire about it: "There will be a Windows Vista service pack and our current expectation is that a beta will be made available sometime this year."
But the inadvertent, and temporary, posting of the performance and reliability pack gives good insight into many of the forthcoming improvements. They include, fixes for a number of hardware and software complaints, including slow file copying and hibernate issues with laptops. Other changes include, as quoted from postings on the AeroXperience and nV News sites:
- "Improves performance in resuming back to the desktop from the Photo and Windows Energy screensaver.
- Resolves an issue where some secured web pages using advanced security technologies may not get displayed in Internet Explorer on Windows Vista.
- Resolves an issue where a shared printer may not get installed if the printer is connected to a Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 system and User Access Control is disabled on the Vista client.
- Resolves an issue where creating AVI files on Vista may get corrupted.
- Improves the performance in calculating the "estimated time remaining" when copying/moving large files.
- Improves performance in bringing up Login Screen after resuming from Hibernate.
- Resolves an issue where synchronization of offline files to a server can get corrupted.
- Resolves a compatibility issue with RAW images created by Canon EOS 1D/1DS Digital SLR Camera which can lead to data loss. This only affects RAW images created by these two specific camera models.
- Resolves an issue where a computer can lose its default gateway address when resuming from sleep mode.
- Improves the performance when copying or moving entire directories containing large amounts of data or files.
- Improves the performance of Vista’s Memory Manager in specific customer scenarios and prevents some issues which may lead to memory corruption.
- Improved reliability and compatibility of Vista when used with newer graphics cards in several specific scenarios and configurations.
- Improved reliability when working with external displays on a laptop.
- Increased compatibility with many video drivers.
- Improved visual appearance of games with high intensity graphics.
- Improved quality of playback for HD-DVD and Blue-Ray disks on large monitors.
- Improved reliability for Internet Explorer when some third party toolbars are installed on Vista.
- Improved Vista reliability in networking configuration scenarios.
- Improved the reliability of Windows Calendar in Vista.
- Improved reliability of systems that were upgraded from XP to Vista.
- Increased compatibility with many printer drivers.
- Increased reliability and performance of Vista when entering sleep and resuming from sleep."
Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.