Vista Patch Bandaid SP1 Microsoft has officially confirmed that a Release Candidate of Vista SP1 (build 6001.17052.071129-2315) will be made available to the public next week, but there was no word on exactly what day it’s going to drop. Presumably it will be on Tuesday, December 11th which coincides with Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday. Yesterday Microsoft Connect members had the pleasure of downloading the Release Candidate, and today MSDN and TechNet subscribers will be able download Vista SP1.

Since the Beta stage the Vista SP1 installer has seen a 30% reduction in size, and the amount of space that it occupies on the hard drive has also been significantly reduced. Inevitably Vista SP1 will be deployable over a network, but Microsoft will provide a “blocker patch” to prevent computers from updating to the Service Pack until administrators have had time to review it.

I do have a word of wisdom for all of you who are contemplating whether you are going to install this. If you download and install the Vista SP1 Release Candidate you’ll also have to uninstall it before installing a newer version that is released later on. For some of you it may not be worth the hassle, so make sure you take that into consideration.

Here’s a recap from one of our previous posts on the improvements Vista SP1 brings to the table:

Reliability improvements:

  • Improved reliability and compatibility of Windows Vista when used with newer graphics cards in several specific scenarios and configurations.
  • Improved reliability when working with external displays on a laptop.
  • Improved Windows Vista reliability in networking configuration scenarios.
  • Improved reliability of systems that were upgraded from Windows XP to Windows Vista.
  • Increased compatibility with many printer drivers.
  • Increased reliability and performance of Windows Vista when entering sleep and resuming from sleep.

Performance improvements:

  • Improves the speed of copying and extracting files.
  • Improves the time to become active from Hibernate and Resume modes.
  • Improves the performance of domain-joined PCs when operating off the domain; in the current release version of Windows Vista, users would experience long delays when opening the File dialog box.
  • Improves performance of Windows Internet Explorer 7 in Windows Vista, reducing CPU utilization and speeding JavaScript parsing.
  • Improves battery life by reducing CPU utilization by not redrawing the screen as frequently, on certain computers.
  • Improves the logon experience by removing the occasional 10-second delay between pressing CTRL-ALT-DEL and the password prompt displaying.
  • Addresses an issue in the current version of Windows Vista that makes browsing network file shares consume significant bandwidth and not perform as fast as expected.

Thanks to Storytellerofsci-fi for the tip!