Microsoft has quietly released four new updates for Vista that improve on performance and reliability. As of right now it’s unclear as to which of these updates, if any, will be made available on October 9th’s Patch Tuesday, but they are currently all available for individual download.
The first update that I want to mention really caught my attention. It is said to improve battery life, increase stability, and much more. Here’s a list of the more prominent things that it is supposed to improve, as well as some of the issues it is supposed to solve:
- It extends the battery life for mobile devices.
- It improves the reliability of Windows Vista when you open the menu of a startup application.
- It improves the stability of Internet Explorer when you open a Web page.
- It improves the stability of wireless network services.
- It shortens the startup time of Windows Vista by using a better timing structure.
- It shortens the recovery time after Windows Vista experiences a period of inactivity.
- Resolves a compatibility issue that affects some third-party antivirus software applications.
- Resolves a reliability issue that occurs when a Windows Vista-based computer uses certain network driver configurations.
The homepage for the update (KB941649) is here, and there are both 32-bit and 64-bit flavors available for download. It appears that this update is still in testing though, and Microsoft recommends that you do not install it yet unless you’re experiencing issues that it resolves:
This hotfix may receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next service pack that contains this hotfix.
Meh, that makes it sound like it’s not coming out until Vista SP1 is released so I installed it anyway. :) Things do seem to be chugging along a bit faster than they were.
The other updates aren’t quite as important in my opinion, but are still worth mentioning:
- KB941229 (32-bit or 64-bit) – Update for Vista Media Center which resolves several issues.
- KB941600 (32-bit or 64-bit) – Fixes critical USB issues.
- KB941651 (32-bit or 64-bit) – Improves the reliability of Windows Media Player 11, but the homepage for the hotfix isn’t available so we’re not quite sure what it’s for.