Microsoft is increasing periodically the total number of beta testers for Windows Vista SP2. The final release is scheduled for April 2009.
On December 2, the Redmond company has made the latest beta build of SP2 available for download by any TechNet and Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscribers. The new SP will provide Vista users with the ability to record data on to Blu-Ray media and the addition of Windows Connect Now for simpler WI-FI configuration. Other features that would be included are:
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Emerging Hardware Support:
•SP2 contains Blue tooth 2.1 feature pack supporting the most recent specification for Blue tooth technology
•Ability to record data on Blu-Ray media,
•Adds Windows Connect Now (WCN) Wi-Fi Configuration to Windows Vista SP2,
•exFAT file system now supports UTC timestamps, which enables correct file synchronization across time zones.
•SP2 provides support for new form factors, such as ICCD/CCID. new form factor support –example USB form factor as opposed to PCMCIA).
•Support for the new VIA 64-bit CPU
•SP2 includes all previously released security updates, and builds on the proven security benefits of Windows Vista
•Secure Development Lifecycle process updates, where we identify the root cause of each security bulletin and improve our internal tools to eliminate code patterns that could lead to future vulnerabilities
•SP2 addresses previously released reliability updates, as well as addressing crashes, caused by Microsoft code, discovered since the launch of SP1
•Resume performance when Wi-Fi connection is no longer available after resume from sleep
•Inclusion of Windows Search 4 for improved indexing performance, improved relevancy in search, broader indexing scenario inclusion, as well as new Group Policy integration for Windows Search,
•Improvements to the RSS feeds sidebar gadget to improve update performance and responsiveness
•It is our goal that applications that run on the Windows Vista Operating System today and are written using public APIs will continue to work as designed on Windows Vista SP2.
•Previously released Application Compatibility updates are included in Windows Vista SP2.
•Spysweeper and ZoneAlarm now working with POP3 email accounts
Administration and Support Improvements:
•Customers installing .net framework 3.5 service pack 1 will notice shorter download and installation times with Vista service pack 2 or Windows 2008 service pack 2 already installed,
•Service Pack Clean up tool (Compcln.exe): This tool helps restore the hard disk space by permanently deleting the previous versions of the files (RTM & SP1) that are being serviced by Service Pack 2.
•Single installer for both Vista & Server 2008
•Ability to detect an incompatible driver and block service pack installation or warn users of any loss of functionality
•Better error handling and providing more descriptive error messages where possible
•Better manageability through logging in system event log
•Componentization for Serviceability of the installer
Some Specific Fixes/Additions Include:
•Inclusion of Hyper-V
•Event logging support in SPC
•DNS Server now listens over ISATAP address
•Fixes DRM issues from WMP upgrades
•Windows Vista Feature Pack for Wireless
•Reduction of resources required for sidebar gadgets
•Improved power settings for WS08