Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Microsoft Release Vista SP2 (and Server 2008 SP2)

Microsoft has released Windows Vista SP2 and Server 2008 SP2.

Windows Vista SP2 (Service Pack 2) for desktops, and Windows Server 2008 SP2 for servers have been released by Microsoft. Unusually both operating systems use the same Service Pack, which contains lots of updates previously released by Microsoft.

Your computer will eventually download the package automatically, although you may prefer to manually download this update straight away or at a time of your choosing. Microsoft will phase in the automatic downloading, to prevent the internet being overloaded by millions of computers all attempting the download at once!

The relevant Microsoft page is http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/dd262148.aspx, where you can also download a tool which will allow you to block the automatic download, should you wish to do so. (Systems Administrators often prefer not to have their large IT systems suddenly placed at the mercy of a major operating system upgrade such as this.)

This Service Pack will check to ensure that your computer already has SP1 installed before going ahead with the installation.

Generally speaking, Windows Service Packs are good news for consumers as they bring together all previously released security updates and many hidden performance improvements. Microsoft operating systems do tend to improve with age and with the number of Service Packs released.

However, there is always a risk involved in such a major upgrade to an operating system and it can prove prudent to wait for a month or so, before installing any Service Packs from Microsoft, to see if any major flaws become apparent.

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© Michael Donkin 2009