So the first major update to Windows Vista is here at last, fourteen months after Microsoft's latest operating system was finally released. Many potential Vista customers were advised at launch to "Wait for Service Pack 1" - so was this advice valid?
Service Pack 1 contains a range of improvements to Windows Vista, focused in three main areas, which Microsoft terms: Quality Improvements, Emerging Hardware & Standards and Infrastructure Optimization.
Quality Improvements are basically bug fixes and this part of the Service Pack includes all the small updates that have been applied by Windows Update since Vista was released, in one handy bundle.
Quality Improvements also include attempts to improve system stability and reliability, mainly when it comes to working with 3rd party applications like those you can download from Softonic.
Emerging Hardware and Standards refers to additional support for newer technologies in Vista. Since the code for Vista was finalised, new technologies have been released which many users would like to deploy to their PCs.
Examples of these technologies include 64-bit EFI network boot, exFAT storage, improved support for HD-DVD and Bluray technologies, additional cryptographic algorithms, full support for 802.
11n wireless, and much more.
Infrastructure Optimization consists of various improvements designed to help organisations deploy and patch Windows more easily.
Systems administrators will welcome improvements to the Network Diagnostics tool, Disk Defragmenter, Group Policy and Network Access Protection.
What has to be said about Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is that it still doesn't contain many of the innovations which were originally promised as components in the OS.
While many of these hotfixes, security improvements and technology upgrades are more than welcome, there is little to get really excited about in SP1.
So yes, it probably made sense to wait for this upgrade, but don't expect Vista to suddenly become a perfect operating system: that's simply not going to happen.
That said, SP1 does include a lot of fixes which might prove very useful for users, especially when it comes to security, and that's why it's a recommended update for all Windows Vista PCs.