What Else is New in Windows Vista SP1?


The big news about Windows Vista SP1, whose Release Candidate became public a couple of days ago, is its improved performance and reliability, thanks to over 400 hotfixes and updates. However, that's only part of the story.

New Hardware Support

Windows Vista SP1 includes

  • Support for GPUs supporting DirectX 10.1, which improves 3D rendering
  • A new exFAT file system supports large file storage in flash memory and consumer devices
  • SD Advanced DMA transfer for faster transfer between SD cards and the PC
  • Better support for Blu-Ray and HD DVD Drives
  • Support for new types of Media Center Extenders
  • Better support for Digital Cable Tuner hardware on Media Center systems

More Reliable Networking

With virtually every PC a part of some sort of network, Vista SP1's network features have also been beefed up:

  • Better IPSec VPN connections
  • Systems won't go to sleep until all packets are received or discarded
  • Better ad-hoc wireless networking
  • Better peer-to-peer connections for Windows Meeting Space or Remote Assistance, even behind firewalls
  • Network Diagnostics can now fix file sharing problems

Better Data Security

Vista SP1 works harder to keep your data safe with features such as:

  • Preventing data loss when NTFS-formatted removable media is ejected
  • File backup now backs up files encrypted with EFS
  • The Startup Repair Tool can now fix a wider range of problems
  • BitLocker (available in Enterprise and Ultimate editions) can now encrypt drives other than the system driv
  • Standard users can now run Complete PC Backup by providing administrator credentials

To learn more about these and many other improvements for both individual users and corporate types, see "Notable Changes in Windows Vista SP1 Release Candidate" at the Windows Vista SP1 Guides for IT Professionals website .


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.

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