Thursday, May 28, 2009

Microsoft releases Windows Vista SP2 to the general public

Windows 7 is just months away from release, but Windows Vista is currently the OS that most of us are using. Having already improved massively since its release, the newly-available SP2 improves Vista even more. Get it while it’s hot.

Windows Vista had a host of issues when it was first released to the public in January 2007. These problems were massively publicized, latched onto by Microsoft’s competitors (namely Apple), and generally resulted in the OS being branded a failure. Fairly or unfairly, this is the case.

However, since that initial release, Microsoft has continued to work on Vista in order to bring it up to speed. Numerous security updates have helped make the OS more safe and those issues which almost killed Vista before it had chance to blossom were rectified.

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) was released on February 4, 2008 and despite some initial problems with certain computers was considered to be a major release. It improved Vista in the key areas which most analysts suggested the OS needed improving in: Reliability, Performance, and Hardware support.

Since then Microsoft has continued to roll out regular updates all those small releases have now been combined to make up Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2). The beta version of SP2 has been available for testing since last December, and after five months of being rigorously put through its paces it is now ready for consumption by the wider general public.

As well as the bundle of security updates and bug fixes which have already been released, SP2 contains some new enhancements. The chance to record onto Blu-ray media natively has been much-requested, while there are improvements being made both to RSS feeds and Wi-Fi capabilities. Windows Search 4.0 and Bluetooth 2.1 are also part of the service pack.

Windows Vista Service Pack 2 isn’t going to blow anyone’s socks off with new features or additional capabilities but it is a solid update to the much-maligned OS. With Windows 7 just around the corner now this is Vista’s last chance to shine, and it seems to be going out with a steady-as-she-goes attitude rather than a bang.

It’ll be a few weeks until SP2 hits Windows Update but you can get it now from the Microsoft Download site. Click here for the 348.3MB 32-bit version or here for the 577.4MB 64-bit version.

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