No, those aren't the numbers for today's "pick 5" lottery drawing, but Microsoft is hoping they'll add up to good luck for its controversial desktop operating system - Vista. Those numbers refer to performance and usability improvements reportedly coming in Vista SP1, whose release candidate (RC) is now being tested.
Although some recent user reports have suggested that Vista SP1's mainly about reliability, Mary Jo Foley's All About Microsoft blog at ZDNet is reporting that Microsoft is internally touting some impressive improvements in performance and usability with SP1:
One UAC prompt, instead of four, when creating or renaming a folder in a protected location (such as the \Windows folder)
18% faster recovery from standby for some USB hubs
25% faster local file copying from location to location on the same disk
45% faster remote file copying from a non-Windows Vista system to an SP1 system
50% faster remote file copying from SP1 to SP1 systems
50% faster read time for large images
fixes for common crash and hang problems caused by Windows Calendar, Windows Media Player, and drivers included with Vista
better compatibility with third-party diagnostic tools
It's not clear whether Microsoft is comparing Vista SP1 (which will contain all publically-available fixes made to Vista since release plus additional improvements) to the original (and slow) early 2007 release of Vista, or whether SP1 will contain additional file copying zoom (call it "Vitamin Z") over the current state of Vista.
I'm hoping for the latter - but I'm prepared to be disappointed.
The Clock Ticks...
In any event, it won't be long until we can all try a near-final version of SP1. According to Foley, the release candidate (RC) for Vista SP1 will be an early Christmas present for Vista users, with public availability set for the second week of December.
Know a Windows Vista newbie? Help a new Vista user get up to speed with Mark's book Maximum PC Microsoft Windows Vista Exposed. It's a great introduction to what's new and different in Windows Vista, and it's available from Amazon.com and other fine bookstores.