Microsoft prepares 3 Vista updates for November Patch Tuesday

Three non-security updates will be available on Patch Tuesday

Microsoft will today release three non-security updates to Windows Vista that relate to battery life, sleep/hibernation issues, and glitches in the Media Center version.

The updates are part of an ongoing release of fixes for Vista that will eventually be incorporated into Service Pack 1, which is set to ship in the first quarter next year.

A public beta of the service pack is due by the end of the year.

Microsoft has been using occasional updates to tune Vista since it shipped a year ago. The company has been promoting the on-going updates to Vista as an alternative to one large service pack.

In October, the company released speed and reliability updates for Vista. In August it issued a pair of updates to address reliability and performance in the operating system.

The first update for this latest release addresses system compatibility, reliability and stability, including the extension of battery life for mobile devices and the stability of Windows PowerShell and wireless network services.

The update also improves the stability of portable and desktop computers that use an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), and the reliability of Vista when you open the menu of a startup application. The upgrade also shortens the startup time of Windows Vista by using a better timing structure, the recovery time after Windows Vista experiences a period of inactivity, and the recovery time when users try to exit the Photos screen saver.

The second update addresses a number of USB core components, including problems trying to recover or enter sleep or hibernation mode. The upgrade is a collection of 21 previously released fixes for USB issues. The second upgrade also addresses problems with USB devices that may no longer work correctly after Vista resumes from sleep or hibernation, problems that may occur with USB-connected microphones, the enabling and re-enabling USB composite devices, and problems with the hardware removal and "eject" command when used with an Apple iPod.

The third update focuses on Windows Media Center and issues with its extensibility platform. It also fixes issues associated with interaction between Media Center and Xbox360, when the gaming console is used as a Media Center Extender.

Microsoft plans to make the updates available via Windows Update beginning November 13, which is the same date for the release of the company's monthly security patch updates.

The three updates will also be included with Vista Service Pack 1, which also will include an update to the Windows kernel to align it with the kernel in Windows Server 2008.

The service pack is expected to ship at the same time as the server, which is slated for the first quarter of 2008. Microsoft officials hope to ship the server on or before the February 27, 2008, launch event in Los Angeles.

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John Fontana

Network World
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