Mossberg Reviews Vista SP1: "Don't Expect Much From It"

Today, Mossberg takes a look at the lukewarmly anticipated Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista. It's an odd little beast of a review, its flat, monotonal surface covering a bed of barbs. (Most of 'em are true.) Here's the sharpest one (bold is mine):

SP1 doesn't resolve some of the most annoying flaws in Vista, including slow start-ups and reboots, and a security system that nags you too much and requires add-on anti-virus software. I guess these problems will either never be fixed fully or will have to wait for SP2.

That's a Stinger. Missile.

It not only basically calls Microsoft inept, each bit is an unspoken comparison to OS X. SP1 has, however, gotten better than its RC, which we tested a couple months ago. Whereas it took 30 percent longer to transfer files over the network than regular Vista in our test, Moss says transfers took half as long. Recovery time is better from sleep and hibernation, and rebooting is about the same, once it relearns your most frequent programs—a point I think Mossberg unnecessarily belabored, to my horror.

His overall verdict though is what I think is slightly weird: "On balance, the update is probably worth installing, especially since Microsoft will deliver it automatically. But I wouldn't rush to grab it and I wouldn't expect much from it."

It's fine to be disappointed (I was when I installed the RC1), and most of his criticisms are valid, even if you can see glimmers of 10.5.2 comparisons between the lines. But it's a service pack. A mild recommendation makes little sense (vs. a do-not-install warning, which could be perfectly warranted). You've pretty much gotta install it at some point. [All Things D]