Microsoft has released a new update for Windows Vista that it says improves the operating system's compatibility, reliability, and stability. According to Microsoft's knowledge base entry, the update—numbered KB941649—includes the following enhancements:
It extends the battery life for mobile devices. It improves the stability of portable computers and of desktop computers that use an uninterruptable power supply (UPS). It improves the reliability of Windows Vista when you open the menu of a startup application. It improves the stability of Internet Explorer when you open a Web page. It improves the stability of wireless network services. It shortens the startup time of Windows Vista by using a better timing structure. It shortens the recovery time after Windows Vista experiences a period of inactivity. It shortens the recovery time when you try to exit the Photos screen saver. It improves the stability of Windows PowerShell.
A compatibility issue with some anti-virus software as well as a reliability problem with "certain network driver configurations" are also listed as fixes.
The update itself is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Vista. However, Microsoft cautions that only users suffering from problems mentioned above should install it. "This hotfix may receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next service pack that contains this hotfix," the company advises.