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Vista SP1: Does Anybody Care?

You know the story: Microsoft says that Vista's raking in the dough, and lots of users still say that they don't like it and won't touch it. That pretty much sums up Vista's first year.

So, into that fractured atmosphere stumbles (or will stumble, in March, anyway) Vista Service Pack 1, the possible savior of -- or possibly irrelevant follow-up to -- the embattled operating system. Apparently, from a technical perspective, SP1 is no small deal; there will be some fairly serious changes, including a revised kernel. There might also be some sneaky fixes that Microsoft doesn't bother to document.

But will any of it matter? That's the question. XP has become a favorite cause for many users, like some sort of save-the-whales or anti-global-warming movement. The XP worship has almost taken on a life of its own. Can a simple service pack, large though it may be, really put a dent into that kind of popular movement?

Add to that the fact that Microsoft is already talking timetables for Vista's successor, and there's enough smoke to suspect that a fire of companies skipping Vista is burning somewhere. But let's be real about this. If Microsoft is talking about releasing Windows 7, the would-be son of Vista, in 2009, we can probably expect it in 2011.

And Microsoft is going to end-of-life (hey, it sounds better than kill) XP. That's just what Microsoft does. So, eventually, maybe begrudgingly, companies that upgrade their computers or their infrastructures are going to switch to Vista. That fact that an SP1 will soon exist might even help speed up the process a bit.

Most of us will be running Vista within a year or so just the way we run XP now. And who knows? Maybe Windows 7 will be so bad that we'll have Vista nostalgia by the time Microsoft kills Vista. Probably not -- but, hey, you never know.

Does Vista SP1 mean anything to you? Sound off a lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on 02/07/2008 at 1:21 PM


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