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Vista’s Reign of Terror Continues — Why Now?
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Vista’s Reign of Terror Continues

A lot of people were waiting for Service Pack 1 before moving from XP to Vista, under the assumption that most of the major problems with the new version would be fixed by the service pack. They will be waiting a little longer.

CNet reports that Microsoft pulls Vista SP1 update

Microsoft has stopped automatically distributing a prerequisite piece of software for Vista Service Pack 1, following some customer complaints that it had caused system problems.

Servicing stack update KB937287, released last week, contained updates to Windows Vista installation software, and was billed as being “necessary to successfully install and to remove Windows Vista SP1 (Service Pack 1) on all versions of Windows Vista.”

Microsoft stopped distributing the update on Wednesday, according to a blog post by Microsoft product manager Nick White.

“We’ve heard a few reports about problems customers may be experiencing as a result of KB937287,” wrote White. “Immediately after receiving reports of this error, we made the decision to temporarily suspend automatic distribution of the update to avoid further customer impact while we investigate possible causes.”

Vista SP1 is already available to subscribers to the Microsoft Developer Network but won’t receive a formal public release until mid-March.

What sort of problems? Well, CNet informs us Microsoft: Vista SP1 will break these programs

Microsoft has published a list of programs that will not work or that will suffer from reduced functionality after the installation of Vista Service Pack 1.

The list of programs consists mostly of security applications, such as Trend Micro Internet Security 2008. However, programs such as The New York Times Reader application also feature on the list. Users are advised to install updates from the application vendor to fix the problem.

“Windows Vista Service Pack 1 contains many security, reliability, and feature updates for Windows Vista,” the company said. “A program may experience a loss of functionality after you install Windows Vista SP1. However, most programs will continue to work as expected after you install Windows Vista SP1.”

The list is not considered to be comprehensive, and Microsoft has asked users who encounter problems with other applications to first restart their PC and, if they still encounter problems, to install a newer version of the program or contact the software vendor.

No worries, it just means that many anti-virus software programs won’t work with the update. Some people might believe that this is related to the fact that Microsoft has entered the anti-virus software market, but I couldn’t say.


1 Badtux { 02.23.08 at 9:46 pm }

Y’know, I knew I was going to have a few problems when I upgraded from MacOS Tiger to MacOS Leopard, but I wanted the new Time Machine functionality. And I did have a few problems. But they were minor problems such as X11 getting stuck or not starting in inappropriate spots (fixed a week after release by downloading X11 from Apple’s upstream source or by the first service pack four weeks after release) or being slow to sleep or wake up from going to sleep, nothing like the sort of problems that faced folks who “upgraded” to Vista. Most of these minor problems were fixed by the 10.5.1 service pack that happened a month after release, and the last of them were fixed by the 10.5.2 service pack that happened earlier this month.

But that’s the difference between an OS that is designed, and an OS that is just botched bloatware. Luckily I very seldom need to boot Windows nowdays… and when I do, it’s my venerable OEM copy of Windows XP, either the one on my old HP laptop or the one running under Parallels on my Mac. Vista. Just Say No(tm)!

– Badtux the MacPenguin

2 Bryan { 02.23.08 at 11:08 pm }

In ancient times you just avoided the -.0 release and you were in decent shape, but this latest disaster is what an out of control software project looks like in the system management textbooks. They don’t maintain team consistency; they don’t have an overall system plan; they don’t have internal QA.

It’s pretty damn sad when upgrading “free” system software like Linux is less of a hassle than stuff that costs you hundreds.

3 Michael { 02.24.08 at 2:00 am }

Microsoft has never been known to create deliberate incompatibilities with their competitors.

4 Michael { 02.24.08 at 2:00 am }

there was supposed to be a [/snark] tag there somewhere.

5 Michael { 02.24.08 at 2:01 am }

As for Linux being sad, excuse me. I think it’s the damn future.

6 Kryten42 { 02.24.08 at 8:14 am }

…dum de dum de dum de do…

…and I told everyone so…

…dum de do de dum de dee…

…and the morons of the World ensure Gates gets his $12+ million per day, which I guess proves that crime really does pay! 🙂

7 Kryten42 { 02.24.08 at 8:17 am }

…and proves that old adage, ‘There’s a sucker born every minute’

…ain’t that the truth! LOL

8 Kryten42 { 02.24.08 at 8:22 am }

Hmmm… I suppose it also shows that even a total dweeb like Gates is smarter than most Americans, and that a lot of money can make a looser into a winner. Is that why American’s love him (and Bush), so? The false hope and false expectations?

Yeowch! That’s gotta hurt! LOL

Yeah… I’m bad. So sue me. LOL

9 Bryan { 02.24.08 at 3:02 pm }

The “sad” part, Michael, is that the ease that is provided for nothing in Linux distributions isn’t available when you pay, which is extremely annoying. Hell, Redhat’s 5.0 was a much easier install than Windows 98, and I carried a copy with me if I needed to clean a disk because the MS fdisk utility sucked so badly. I’ve always rated “ease of use” based on how often you had to answer questions on an installation, and the logic of the questions, not the design elements of the screen on which the question was asked. The fact you can answer a question with a mouse click instead of pressing a key does not make the process friendly.

Kryten, Bill’s mother worked for IBM, not DEC, and he dropped out of a business curriculum, not engineering, Paul Allen was the coder, Bill has never been more than a semi-competent junior programmer, and he didn’t need to be. For years they have been buying up smaller technically superior companies and their products. MS paid licensing fees on DOS and Windows for years, because they bought the rights to other people’s work, just like IBM did for years. Microsoft has never been an innovator, but they had the superior marketing and business model. Now they’ve settled into their role of near monopoly and don’t have to really care.

10 Michael { 02.24.08 at 3:45 pm }

Bryan, there’s nothing sad about Linux failing to be a corporate product, this is a misapprehension. I favor Ubuntu, by the way. As far as having customer support, though, I’m sure Redhat’s is better than Redmond’s.

11 Bryan { 02.24.08 at 4:08 pm }

I’m obviously not making myself clear, Michael. If you pay for something it should be better than what you can get for free in a capitalist system. If you expect to be paid, you should do something worthy of the money.

For the money, Vista should install itself with an absolute minimum of user intervention and just work.

12 Badtux { 02.24.08 at 6:10 pm }

As someone who makes his living creating derivatives of Red Hat distributions for use inside embedded appliances, and who has installed every version of Red Hat Linux since version 3.0.3, I do have to agree that if you have supported hardware, Red Hat Linux has *always* been easier to install than *any* version of Windows. Recent Fedora releases and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.1 are especially ridiculously slick, the new installer is Yum-based and finally does away with that awkward pause to compute dependencies that earlier versions of RHEL had.

That said, I have to point out that MacOS/X is even easier to install, with even fewer questions than RHEL5 — basically, you answer one question about partitioning, one question about what software packages on the disk to install, one question about your user name and password, and that’s that, it just does it. But then, MacOS/X was actually designed, as vs. conglomerated in much the same way as layers of mud at the bottom of a lake the way that Windows has developed.

Oh, I do gotta say kickstart for Red Hat Linux is slicker’n’snot. If you’re in a corporate shop , you can set up a kickstart server and the damned machines *install themselves* (assuming they’re PXE-bootable), no interaction from a human needed. Zero questions, woohoo!

– Badtux the MacPenguin

13 Bryan { 02.24.08 at 7:16 pm }

Everyone keeps complaining about “how hard it is to use Linux” and don’t think about “text-based” people. I don’t have a Mac because I’m text-based, I’d rather use the command line than click icons. Mac is the obviously superior PARC derivative system. It costs more, but it provides something for the cost.

Many people have complained about the iPhone being a gimmick, but it works for graphics-based people, because a family member who has never “mastered” a standard cell phone was able to do everything she wanted with a iPhone. I would never buy one because it was too frustrating for me when compared to my standard cell phone text system, but for her it just made sense.

There is no single “best” system, but Windows isn’t even good, based on what it claims to be designed to do.

14 Steve Bates { 02.25.08 at 11:03 am }

For some of us, a lot depends on where our livelihood takes us. Mine has been about 90 percent in the Windows world. It doesn’t matter if I like it or not (for the most part, not); I just have to exhibit facility in using it and writing code for it.

A few months ago, I installed Ubuntu Linux on one of my machines, a “senior citizen” among my PCs. The installation was the smoothest I’ve ever experienced with any OS. (Full disclosure: I’ve never installed any OS on any Mac.) The distro contained about what a typical office worker might need. I found that adding and upgrading s/w can be a bit of a bother, but I attribute that to my personal inexperience. For the most part, Ubuntu Linux, as distributed, works just fine, and it regularly updates itself with no hassle. Anyone who needs a free, full-featured OS for an older computer is well advised to try it.

15 Bryan { 02.25.08 at 12:53 pm }

I need to install it, Ubuntu, on my ancient back-up laptop for the hurricane season, because I’m not ready for the two hour wait every time I turn it on for MS to take over for its multiple upgrades.

I’ve burned the CD, but inertia and other priorities have intervened.

16 hipparchia { 02.25.08 at 8:27 pm }

For the most part, Ubuntu Linux, as distributed, works just fine, and it regularly updates itself with no hassle. Anyone who needs a free, full-featured OS for an older computer is well advised to try it.

i’m glad to hear that. i’ve got a couple of older computers sitting around that i want to put to work, and that’s what i had just about decided on. always nice to get confirmation.

17 Bryan { 02.25.08 at 8:46 pm }

Drivers are the only real hassle with Linux, and then, it’s only for newer devices. The veteran laptop is a Pentium with 256K, so it doesn’t take much to run.