Time to break out the tinfoil hats, Windows Vista SP 2 beta has been available since December 4th 2008. It doesnâ€™t seem to add anything exciting to this universally acknowledged lame duck of an operating system, so I guess that explains the lack of interest I’m seeing around the web. While Microsoft touts the inclusion of Windows Connect Now for easier configuration of Wi-Fi networks and support for burning Blu-ray discs, these features have been available by automatic updates since July of this year. Take note that if youâ€™ve recently purchased a system with Windows Vistaâ€™s Feature Pack for Wireless, it will already have WCN and Bluetooth 2.1 support included.
Vista SP 2 beta has been available for quite some time to system manufacturers, but there were reported issues burning the image to disk, which lead to installation problems.
The public beta seems to have no such problems and comes with a stand-alone installer for those who want to download an ISO image and burn a DVD. Itâ€™s a simple matter of creating a system restore point, a single reboot, and allowing about an hour for an unattended installation.
If this service pack includes anything worth having it seems to be associated with software compatibility. Microsoft is reporting fixes for ZoneAlarm and Spy Sweeper as well and improved support for DirectX.
Itâ€™s important to note at this point that if you are taking advantage of Automatic Updates with your Vista system, you have been getting non-security updates almost every quarter. These updates included several application comparability fixes and explain why your Vista system might be operating a little smoother than it did initially.
I found several reports that Windows had trouble finding wireless adapters after the installation of Vista SP2 beta. Because my only Vista install is my laptop, which uses a wireless connection, I decided against giving it a try. Normally I would take one for the team but I know firsthand how hard it is to get a good working installation of Vista.
Should you try it? No, not yet. Wait till itâ€™s out of beta. The predicted release date of April of 2009 is not that far away and most will already have the improvements installed through Automatic Updates. All SP2 offers is some added glitches and besides, who wants to spend half a day fixing Somethin for Nothin?