If you've read your RSS feeds yesterday, you probably noticed that Vista SP2 Beta is now available for Technet Plus and MSN subscribers. Quite a few news sites mentioned that Hyper-V is included in Service Pack 2 for Vista. Some sites corrected this mistake today. Of course, Hyper-V RTM is only included in SP2 for Windows Server 2008. There are two things I find remarkable about this incident.
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When I first read that SP2 includes Hyper-V for Vista I was quite perplexed. I have been testing SP2, and there was no Hyper-V. So could it be possible that Microsoft really waited for the Beta for such an important change? Even more puzzling was that all of sites I've read just mentioned it in passing. Thus, my first thought was that it has been generally known already for some time that SP2 would include Hyper-V for Vista and I somehow missed this important information.
I downloaded the pack from Technet. That was where the second surprise awaited me. I wasn't able to mount the ISO file in VMware Workstation. So I downloaded the file again. Unfortunately this didn't solve my problem. I then tried the 64-bit version with the same result. I was also unable to burn the ISO file to a CD. Could it really be possible that the SP2 files on Technet are corrupt? I changed the file extension to exe and launched the file. To my surprise, this seemed to work. However, the unpacker created only a folder containing symbol.exe. The purpose of this file seems to be to unpack symbols.cab to C:\windows\symbols. I have no idea what those files there are for. This was the point where I gave up and downloaded the ISO file that contained Vista plus SP2. It finally worked then.
What I find remarkable is that so many sites were reporting about SP2, but nobody seemed to realize that such a big change as the inclusion of Hyper-V in Vista is highly unlikely at this point. Even if Microsoft announced today that it is in Windows 7 I would be baffled. It is also obvious that nobody really downloaded SP2 to verify whether this bit of a sensation is really true. I must admit that I find this incident rather scary. This is obviously quick-and-dirty journalism.
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Anyway, I already said it before: This service pack is a yawner. There are no real new features. This is quite okay, though. We are all waiting for Windows 7, and it wouldn't make much sense to add new features to Vista now. However, what I find not okay is that SP1 is required to install SP2. I mean, the main purpose of a service pack is to put together all available patches in one big update ,right?