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Finding Vista SP1 testers in the blogosphere

Bill BrennerAs I noted earlier, Microsoft is about to unleash Vista SP1 release candidate 1. I’ll be interested to see if it truly addresses issues IT administrators have noted throughout the run of our Vista deployment series, especially the compatibility and UAC pop-up box troubles. To figure it all out I’ll be looking for a few people who are actively testing it.

In the meantime, I’ve taken to the blogosphere in search of those who are ready to play around with Vista SP1 and blog their impressions, and am using this week’s column to share what I’ve found so far. Security Blog Log

I’m sure the rundown below misses a lot of good blogs, so if you know of any others, please let me know. Now, for what I have found:

Over at VISTA.BLORGE.com, Jonathan Schlaffer promises that as soon as Vista SP1 (public) beta hits the Internet, “we’ll be downloading and testing it until we’re sick of it.”

Steven Hodson writes in his WinExtra blog that he has no intention of touching SP1 until the final version is out. As he puts it, “If it were a case where I was still running XP I wouldn’t hesitate a minute to grab any available version of XP SP3 and install it without a second thought. With Vista however I am breaking this self-made rule and putting my gauze bandages back in the closet because this is one Windows OS version where I won’t be touching anything less that the final build of SP1.”

“Unlike some of the more vocal commenters in previous posts about Vista problems I have some serious doubts about the OS,” he adds.

He writes that while service pack release candidates have proven to be fairly stable in the past, he doesn’t have the same feeling about SP1 for Vista and that much of the advance gossip about SP1 isn’t about performance improvement but more around stability and security; along with a totally revamped WGA system.

Now, I know this column is about spotlighting blogs where the authors indicate plans to test Vista SP1 and this guy is pretty adamant that he won’t be touching it. But I’m listing his blog here because he describes himself as a “cranky old fart wandering the Internet and causing mayhem as he goes.” He may have a cranky outlook on SP1, but I have a feeling he’s going to try it out anyway. If wandering the Internet in search of mayhem is what you’re into, the service pack will probably be too tempting to avoid.

Self-described Windows geek Brandon LeBlanc can barely contain his excitement about the service pack in his blog, writing that he has gone all out in updating all of his PCs to the Windows Vista SP1 RC. In a seperate posting in the Windows Experience blog, he describes his first impressions:

“When logging in to my PCs for the first time after installing the Windows Vista SP1 RC, the first thing I took notice of was that none of my PCs displayed a “find device driver” pop-up like I had experienced with the beta. Previously, I had a “find display driver” pop-up for my graphics driver for the PCs I had installed the SP1 beta on. In the RC – this seems to have been fixed. Many of the improvements I took note of back in September still held up, if not better, with the RC.”

All of his applications continue to work, including:

  • Sony Vegas 7
  • New Zune software
  • Visual Basic 2008 Expression
  • Windows Live suite of applications
  • Windows Live OneCare
  • Smart FTP
  • ImgBurn
  • Yahoo! Messenger 9 Beta
  • Virtual PC 2007
  • Paint.NET

“I’ve spent a total of three days now running a complete Windows Vista SP1 environment and am very impressed with the improvements and fixes that the RC provides over the last beta,” he wrote.

Keep track of his blog and see if he still feels that way in a few weeks. Either way, it looks like he’ll provide some good technical content.

Michael Pietroforte, head of the IT department at the University Library of the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, writes of the service pack in his 4sysops blog. If you look at some of his posts you’ll see he has had his share of Vista challenges, so it’ll be interesting to keep track and see if SP1 solves any problems for him.

So that’s a few blogs that may offer some insight into Vista SP1 as the testing process unfolds. But like I said, this is far from a complete list. So please, if there are other such blogs I should be listing, pass ’em along.

About Security Blog Log: Senior News Writer Bill Brenner peruses security blogs each day to see what’s got the information security community buzzing. In this column he lists the weekly highlights. If you’d like to comment on the column or bring new security blogs to his attention, contact him at bbrenner@techtarget.com.

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