According to Microsoft, Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista delivers an evolution in terms of compatibility, reliability, and performance, as compared with Service Pack 1. This albeit, the Redmond company did characterize Vista SP2 as nothing more than a standard service pack with no major changes under-the-hood or on the surface. Still, there are new components, such as Hyper-V (for Windows Server 2008) and Compcln.exe, as detailed in the Notable Changes in Windows Server 2008 SP2 Beta and Windows Vista SP2 Beta resource.
“SP2 also includes a Service Pack Clean-up tool (Compcln.exe), which helps restore the hard disk space by permanently deleting the previous versions of the files (RTM and SP1) that are being serviced by SP2. The Pack Clean up tool can also be run offline while creating slipstream images to reduce the size of the image,” Microsoft informed.
In this context, Vista SP2 offers an evolved form of the Vsp1cln.exe tool, which was integrated into SP1, but is no longer a part of the second service pack for the operating system. However, the basic functionality has been successfully preserved. Namely, compcln.exe is designed to perform the same task as Vsp1cln.exe, that is making the installation of the Service Pack permanent, by deleting all components associated with previous releases, and in this manner removing the possibility of restoring a past state.
The common standalone SP2 installer for Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 RTM/SP1 has also been tweaked in order to be able to identify drivers and subsequently block the deployment of the service pack. Microsoft is also promising a more secure installation experience, as well as a superior level of error handling, complemented by descriptive error messages. To top it all off, the software giant indicated that the installer would accept servicing even after the release.
According to Microsoft, Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 RTM/SP1:
- adds support for the 64-bit central processing unit (CPU) from VIA Technologies, which adds the ID and vendor strings for the new VIA 64-bit CPU;
- integrates the Windows Vista Feature Pack for Wireless, which contains support for Bluetooth v2.1. Bluetooth v2.1 is the most recent specification for Bluetooth wireless technology and Windows Connect Now (WCN) Wi-Fi Configuration;
- improves performance for Wi-Fi connection after resuming from sleep mode;
- adds new capabilities to Direct X Graphic display reliability. The graphics experience has been greatly improved for users, such as gamers, running applications that require a lot of graphics processing;
- includes updates to the RSS feeds sidebar with improved performance and responsiveness;
- improves audio and video performance for streaming high definition content;
- includes ability to record data to Blu-Ray media;
- includes Windows Search 4.0;
- improves Windows Media Center (WMC) in Content protection for TV;
- Hyper-V is now integrated into Windows Server 2008;
- delivers up to 10% boosted efficiency via improved power management policy configurations;
- improves backwards compatibility for Terminal server license keys.
Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2) Beta Standalone is available for download here.
Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 Beta and Windows Vista Service Pack 2 Beta - Five
Language Standalone DVD ISO are available for download via this link.
Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 (SP2) Beta is available for download here.