Vista SP 1 Ttested (Part-2)  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , , ,

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Security: Better protection against viruses, hackers etc., Vista is relatively safer and some new features have improved the security aspects of SP1. But, these improvements will only benefit corporate customers. Encrypting data: If you want to use the in-built Windows encryption-function BitLocker, you either require an ‘Ultimate’ or an ‘Enterprise’ version of Vista, both of which are expensive and are seldom installed on any of the PCs available in the consumer market. Users not equipped with either and still wanting to encrypt their operating system will have to resort to programs from third party providers. Until now, the problem with BitLocker was the limitation on the size of system volume. With SP1, users can now also protect additional partitions from strange eyes. Yet, it’s incomprehensible why Microsoft is releasing this function now since experts could already encrypt their other partitions using BitLocker, via the command line on Vista systems without SP1—only the user interface was missing. Microsoft has added it now so that the average user can perform the same function. Better updates: If Windows had been a car with a broken brake, Microsoft would have asked the driver to apply the brakes gently instead of completely replacing the brake disc. This situation is comparable to the security updates: If the technicians at Redmond discovered a security leak, they would only plug the hole, and never strive to find the cause of the leak. This has fortunately changed with Vista. Maybe because this is the first consumer operating system from Microsoft that has been developed taking SDL (Secure Development Lifecycle) into account. A new security strategy from Microsoft is hidden behind SDL: right from the initial phase of developing new systems, the specialists study current threats and predict possible future threats. The programmers have upgraded the operating system so that it can withstand all those dangers. If you believe Microsoft, you require around 50 percent lesser updates—all thanks to SDL. With SP1, Vista includes a corresponding SDL update that should make certain parts more secure: If Vista now blocks a program with the user account control; the user receives more information about it. However, the continuous messages are still just as annoying as before. Reliable Info: If you want to know whether the antivirus protection has been activated and updated, or whether the firewall is active or not, then you don’t need to open Vista security any more. With SP1, it looks like Microsoft has improved the technology too. Before, in certain cases, malicious software could change the status of the security applications within the centers. Thus, it happened that Windows would show a green light but the firewall, for instance, would be inactive. Security tools can now report their status to Windows monitoring via new and safer interfaces. The user can thus be sure that everything really is in order when Windows says so—at least until hackers find a new way of attacking it.
Reliability: Windows does not crash so often with the SP1The blue screen stll remains to scare users. Crashes haven’t been rampant for quite a while now, but the allegedly robust Vista cannot handle everything. Many errors have been taken care of in SP1. Lesser data loss: Windows has drilled it into our heads that we must first eject the USB stick from the Windows software before taking it out. Simply removing the USB stick could lead to data loss. Microsoft has improved the cache performance with SP1, especially in the case of NTFS media. One should still not pull out the stick directly, but, if you do, it is quite unlikely that your data will be lost. Better Drivers: Crashes are mainly caused due to driver problems and software from third party providers. Compatibility issues have been improved with SP1 and Microsoft has even updated the drivers for radio networks, which promises higher rate of success with WLAN connect. For wireless networks, the range largely depends on the location and efficiency of the router. Microsoft boasts a larger range with SP1, but we could detect only a marginal increase during testing.Support for new hardware: Along with the many bugfixes, this Service Pack also introduces support for future hardware standards. Thus, Vista SP1 can work well with media on the new exFAT file system. This allows the usage of media having larger total capacity and is especially intended for flash memory cards and USB sticks. Even upcoming SD cards with SD ADMA (Advanced DMA) can communicate with Vista and they offer a higher transfer rate as well as lesser load on the processor. Future PC systems with EFI-BIOS can now be used with Vista as well. Yet, with all these improvements, there is still room to heap on the criticism. -->

This entry was posted on Jul 4, 2008 at 1:15 AM and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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