University Bans Vista SP1 Upgrades as Problems Continue

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Microsoft Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is hitting more bumps in the road and institutions are beginning to weigh in. As one example, the University of Pennsylvania's IT department has reportedly issued a bulletin to faculty and students not to update with SP1, at least for the time being. The department has said it will support users who have Vista with SP1 preinstalled, however.

Major Driver Problems

Drivers are becoming a major issue. One of the reasons Microsoft delayed SP1's release was because of problems with drivers. New reports indicate that, while the actual number of problematic drivers may be small, as Microsoft indicates, their impact is not.

The drivers include those in a common Intel chipset, the 945G Express series, used in PCs from Gateway, Lenovo, Hewlett Packard and others. Microsoft has recommended that all drivers be updated before installing SP1.

One central location for SP1 complaints, as well as some favorable comments, is Microsoft's Vista blog.

A commenter called rikki-UK sarcastically described Microsoft as "GENIUS at work" because it released the update two days before a long holiday weekend, thus limiting access to support. According to rikki-UK, the company issued advice to some users to replace an Ethernet card or a router, even though the same hardware worked fine on XP machines.

One user going by the name of bowlman posted Friday that he has had SP1 installed for two days and the "only problems" are that e-mail opens slower, Vista wants to do an error report when it closes, and the documents folder "wants to lock up and takes 10 minutes to close it down."

Exorcist Needed?

"Sometimes," posted a user called Microsoft News Tracker, "I think what Microsoft's Vista operating system really needs is an exorcist" because of the number of "unnatural occurrences plaguing it."

Laura DiDio, an analyst with industry research firm Yankee Group, noted that SP1 has only been out for a few days, and it will take a few weeks to gauge overall reaction accurately. She had problems with drivers being unavailable for an existing printer when she upgraded to Vista, but she noted that, "to be fair," those who are happy with SP1 probably aren't going to post their happiness on blogs. She pointed out that it's the unhappy ones, looking for help or commiseration, who show up on blogs.

DiDio also recalled the conventional wisdom that "you only get one chance to make a first impression," adding that, if complaints continue much longer, Microsoft has to move quickly to put out a statement addressing the issues.


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