Microsoft, not Apple, releases Vista iPod fix

It also updated a program that sends Vista usage data to Microsoft

Microsoft Tuesday released several fixes for Windows Vista bugs, including one involving the ubiquitous iPod music player that Apple didn't fix in an iTunes update three weeks ago.

The most prominent of the five-pack of patches is the one that prevents data on iPods from being corrupted if users select Safely Remove Hardware from the system tray to eject the player. That command is what most Windows users call on before unplugging a USB device.

Earlier this month, Apple updated iTunes to Version 7.1.1 to patch several Vista-related problems, but left others -- including the Safely Remove Hardware bug -- unfixed. At the time, Apple said it was "actively working with Microsoft to resolve a few remaining known issues." It had also recommended that users select the Eject iPod option on the iTunes Controls menu to remove an iPod from a Vista PC's USB port.

Other patches unveiled Tuesday included one that keeps Vista from ruining raw images taken with Canon EOS-1D or EOS-1Ds cameras, one designed to solve a video quality problem that arises when users configure Vista to display on a TV, one that stops Vista from abruptly going to sleep when a dial-up PPP connection is active, and one that updates Microsoft's Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP).

That last fix is for the opt-in program that Microsoft tucks into its operating systems and other software, including Office. CEIP collects information about how users work with Vista, as well as data about problems users encounter. That information is routinely transmitted to Microsoft.

However, the support document outlining the CEIP patch lacked details of the changes. "This update improves the quality of the software information that is sent to Microsoft by configuring existing Windows Vista CEIP settings," the KB931174 document states. "These configurations settings also enable Windows Vista to use the Problem Reports and Solutions item in Control Panel to provide additional solutions for problems that you encounter."

All of the new Vista patches require users to validate their copies of the operating system as legitimate before they can be downloaded.

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Gregg Keizer

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