Vista Service Pack 2 Now Public

It’s December 5, 2008 and – as promised – Microsoft has made the Vista SP2 beta publicly available. Early adopters can install it now and take advantage of improvements like 10% better power saving, reduced resource consumption in sidebar gadgets, Windows Search 4, and a long list of security and bug fixes.

According to Wired’s post, you should be aware that you’ll have to uninstall the beta in order to install SP2 final once it’s released. Currently Microsoft is anticipating doing that some time in April 2009.

If you’re looking for more details before grabbing the file, check out PC World’s article Vista SP2: Six Things You Need to Know. Downloads for both 32 and 64-bit users are available at the Microsoft Download Center. Instructions are also available here for users wanting to install SP2 through Windows Update.

Vista Ultimate RED to Support AIDS Charity

from Download Squad

Microsoft is set to release the (PRODUCT) RED version of Windows Vista Ultimate on December 15th. Dell has been selling computers preloaded with this special version of the OS for a few months now, but starting next week you’ll be able to to buy a standalone copy.

So what makes Windows Vista Ultimate (PRODUCT) RED different from plain old Windows Vista Ultimate Edition? First, it comes in a red box and includes a few extra wallpapers, screensavers, sidebar gadgets, and a Dreamscene moving background. Second, a portion
of the proceeds from sales will help buy and distribute AIDS medications to patients in Africa.

Amazon appears to be selling it for about $70 more than the price of the vanilla edition of Windows Vista Ultimate, which means either that those wallpapers (which you can probably find online for free) are really awesome, or Microsoft or Amazon are jacking up the price a bit in order to support the charity.

Vista: the Mojave Experiment

Say what you will about Windows Vista. Forget what you have heard. Forget what you have read. Have you seen it for itself? Have you even seen the differences since the release of Service Pack 1?

Every since the release of Vista, I have had clients purchase new OEM systems that came with a variation of Vista. Many of them have asked if I could revert the system back to Windows XP…. Sometimes it is possible, sometimes it is not; it all depends on the hardware and driver availability. Now my simple answer is: Why would you WANT to go back to XP when your machine was built to handle Vista?

I do admit: I had no use for Vista or the problems associated with it until September of 2007, which brought many performance and hardware related fixes. Even then I did feel there was more improvement needed, so I only ran it as a secondary operating system. I am proud to announce that I have been freed of Windows XP every since the release of Vista Service Pack 1…. meaning Vista is the ONLY operating system I use on my primary machine and I strongly recommend it.

We have heard the many cry and ramble about how much they hate Vista and do not use it every since the release…. But have they even given Vista another shot since Service Pack 1 was released, bringing many performance, security, and stability tweaks? Most likely not….

But Microsoft have.

Microsoft has been conducting consumer surveys asking why people do not like Vista. The consumer is then invited to test drive the unreleased beta and give their thoughts on it, for quality assurance. So far, all of the consumers seem more happy with the new beta as oppose to Windows Vista.

The catch: they are test driving Vista the whole time.

Check it out for yourself at http://www.mojaveexperiment.com

29% of Vista crashes caused by NVIDIA drivers

originally from Download Squad by Brad Linder Mar 28th 2008

  If you were an early adopter of Windows Vista, there’s a pretty good chance you became familiar with one of Vista’s coolest new features: an automatic crash reporting utility that will recommend solutions if and when they become available. Or to put it another way, if you tried running Windows Vista on many machines, there was a good chance your computer crashed. A lot. Even if the manufacturer had slapped a shiny new label proclaiming the computer to be "Vista Capable."

  There’s a class action suit working its way through the courts to determine whether Microsoft changed the definition of "capable" to help Intel sell computers. But some of the documents released in the case (PDF link) are interesting in their own right. For example, Microsoft has a chart that lists identified causes of Windows Vista crashes during an unspecified period in 2007.

  The folks at Ars Technica took it upon themselves to convert that data into the pretty chart you see above. The number one culprit graphics chip maker NVIDIA, a company that had a difficult time updating its graphics drivers for the new operating system. Next up is Microsoft itself, and really there’s no good excuse for that, is there?

Vista SP1 Now Available

* Download Windows Vista Service Pack 1 *

I am sorry about the posting earlier as the first installer was removed by Major Geeks. Reasons for the removal have not been declared. The first installer came in ISO format almost totaling 2 GB.

Vista Service Pack 1 has returned… in a surprisingly new format dubbed as the Vista Automated Install Kit for IT Professionals.