As you’ve probably heard by now, Windows Vista Service Pack 2 Beta is now publically available for testing. It promises better power usage, reduced resource consumption in Sidebar gadgets, Windows Search 4, the ability to burn data to Blu-Ray disks, several other features, and numerous security fixes and updates.
You can see a full list of those updates on Microsoft Technet.
After testing basic compatibility and stability in a safe environment (my notebook), I decided to go for it and just do the install on my primary work machine. Obviously, I made sure I had a good backup first and I recommend you do the same.
The short version: installation was a breeze and so far, not a hitch.
I’ll be doing some performance testing over the next few days and will report back on that. In the meantime, here are the basics and some initial thoughts.
You can download Vista SP2 Beta 1 from the Microsoft Download site. You can also download the Windows Update Experience Kit, which provides the instructions and scripts necessary to install SP2 through Windows Update.
You do need to have Service Pack 1 installed before installing the SP2 beta. Iâ€™m hoping that the final version will include SP1. In the meantime, if you have not yet installed SP1, you can install it through Windows Update or download the standalone SP1 update for 32-bit or 64-bit.
The installation of SP2 is straightforward. It creates a System Restore Point, copies files, and asks you to restart. My installation was quick â€“ about 25 minutes. Your mileage may vary.
As most of the changes in SP2 are under the hood, you wonâ€™t see a lot of difference right off the bat. After using it for a couple of days, I did notice that the wireless connection on my notebook seems more solid. Occasionally, Iâ€™ve had to reset the wireless adapter under SP1, but not yet with SP2.
All of my software and hardware that worked under SP1 work just fine under SP2. My software list includes (at least the big stuff):
- Office 2007 Enterprise
- Adobe Creative Suite 3
- Windows Live 3 Beta
- Roxio Creator 2009
- Firefox 3.1 beta
- IE 8 beta 2
- Tivo Desktop
- Picasa 3
- iTunes 8.02
- VMWare Workstation 6.5
I’ll let you know more as the days wear on.