The Vista SP1 download has been shipped out to a private group of Beta testers! It’s being provided in two different forms: a standalone installer intended for widespread installation in businesses, and a Windows Update download that ranges between 51MB and 680MB. I’m sure the download will be on the lighter side if your computer is well-updated.
Brandon LeBlanc over at the Vista Team Blog wrote up a detailed article of his first impressions of Vista SP1. He said that there aren’t many interface changes other than the Search button being removed from the right side of the Start Menu. He’s not talking about the search box which many of you probably use, but instead the Search button that is normally located above the “Computer” entry. All that is used for is to bring up the Search page in Windows Explorer, but it has been chewed up and spit out due to Google’s complaints. It’s not a big deal to me because I use the WinKey+F keyboard shortcut to pull that up.
Here are some of the other things that Brandon has noticed while running Vista SP1 (some are just observations that he has had, and may not be factual):
- Vista’s Disk Defragmenter lets you to choose which volumes you would like to defragment.
- Improvements in overall responsiveness of my PCs.
- Improvements in resuming from Hibernation or Sleep.
- Copying files from one directory to another is a bit faster.
- Battery life seems to be improved since running SP1.
- Transferring files to my shares on my Windows Home Server are a bit faster.
- Overall performance in accessing mapped network shares is improved.
Now you have to remember that SP1 is still in the Beta stage, and there will be some kinks that you’ll have to work through. Robert McLaws pointed out that that you should manually initiate the “Run as Administrator” mode when using the standalone installer. Otherwise the installation will fail after about 15-minutes…which is all lost time. He also said that the entire process took upwards of an hour to complete, and required 3 or 4 restarts before finishing. I’m sure this will be ironed out in the final SP1 release, but it is inevitably one of the downsides of installing an early Beta build.
It’s unfortunate that you still have to be selected in order to download Vista SP1 Beta, but I’m sure this will be blanketing the file sharing networks in no time. I took a quick look on a few BitTorrent sites, but there doesn’t appear to be any new files being shared yet. Give it a few days and it will probably up though. ;)
The build number is Vista SP1 build 6001.16659 for those of you wondering.