I am in the beta program of Windows Vista SP2 and Windows Server 2008 SP2. The download has already been available for a couple of days, but I found time just now to try Service Pack 2. I think the most interesting thing about SP2 is that there is nothing interesting about it.

Latest posts by Michael Pietroforte (see all)

I had to install a new patch (SP Servicing Stack Update, KB955430) before SP2 showed up in Windows Update. The download size of Service Pack 2 was 297.5MB for each OS. I wonder if there will only be one setup file for both operating systems. I started both downloads at the same time on the same physical host, but the one for Server 2008 required only half the time. My guess is that Server updates have priority. I didn't experience any problems after the installation. However, I only played a little with my test machines. I wouldn't dare install a pre-beta on a productive system.

If you look at the new features below, it is quite obvious that this service pack is mostly a collection of previously available updates. Microsoft says that it also improves reliability and compatibility. I guess all of Microsoft's windows developers are now busy with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. All the new features they are working on will only be available next year when these new Windows versions come out. Nonetheless, it is necessary to release a service pack in advance because it simplifies the deployment of new OS installations.

New features of Vista SP2

  • Windows Search 4.0
  • Bluetooth 2.1 Feature Pack
  • Support for ICCD/CCID smart cards
  • Ability to record data onto Blu-Ray media natively
  • Adds Windows Connect Now (WCN) to simplify Wi-Fi Configuration
  • exFAT file system to support UTC timestamps, which allows correct file synchronization across time zones
  • New VIA 64-bit CPU support
  • Print server and spooler performance improvements for printers
  • Application compatibility updates

New features of Windows Server 2008 SP2

  • Hyper-V RTM included
  • Backward compatibility with Terminal Services licensing keys
  • Improved manageability features with DFS/FRS console and Storage Resource Manager
  • Print server and spooler performance improvements for printers
  • Improved error reporting in DFSR to help identify incorrectly configured deployments which lead to failed replication
  • Improved power profile
  1. Bob 15 years ago

    If you read the release notes for SP2, one of the features is that the service pack is designed to be common to both Vista and Server 2008.

    From MS Connect:

    “Service Pack 2 has been developed primarily for Windows Server 2008, with improvements for Windows Vista included. This is the first service pack that takes advantage of both the single service model and improvements from early customer deployments.”

  2. I am allergic to release notes and EULAs. 😉 I am not sure if the sentence you cited implies that there will only be one executable that contains both service packs though.

  3. Bob 15 years ago

    Yes, just one .exe for both Vista & 2008 Server on each platform (x86, etc.). I guess they have enough in common to make this worthwhile.

  4. That’s interesting then. It would explain why it is so big even though there are only a few new features.

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