Contrary to pundits, comedians and the occasional mime breaking their vow of silence, Windows 7 is not Vista SP2. It couldn’t possibly be one and the same since Microsoft just released Vista SP2 on the web. ;) Yup, you can grab it now directly or you can wait for the Windows Update oompa-loompas to kick it out starting in July.
Some of the new features include:
- 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 and Windows Connect Now (WCN) Wi-Fi Configuration. Bluetooth v2.1 is the most recent specification for Bluetooth wireless technology.
- Includes Windows Search 4.0, which builds on Microsoft’s search technology with improved indexing and search relevance. It also helps find and preview documents, e-mail (including signed e-mail messages), music files, photos, and other items on the computer. The search engine in Windows Search 4.0 is a Microsoft Windows® service that is also used by programs such as Microsoft Office Outlook® 2007 and Microsoft Office OneNote® 2007. Autotuning Diagnostics in SP2 now interprets current network conditions when implementing Windows scaling. This feature includes full netsh support.
- Improves Windows Media Center (WMC) in the area of content protection for TV.
- Removes the limit of 10 half open outbound TCP connections. By default, SP2 has no limit on the number of half open outbound TCP connections.
The standalone install will range between 302 and 390 MB in size, so you won’t likely want to do this one from the road. Jokes about mimes aside, the first service pack for Microsoft Windows Vista addressed many of the issues I saw, and with the new SP2 features, I expect an even better experience. My biggest Vista issue, however, really is addressed by Windows 7, as the performance is noticeably better, even with lesser hardware.