Vista SP1, Windows Server 2008 share new kernel

Yesterday, Microsoft announced that both Windows Server 2008 and the first service pack for Windows Vista have been released to manufacturing, and that they’ll become available to the public in March. Today, the folks at Australia’s APC Magazine made an interesting discovery that suggests Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 are linked by more than their RTM date.

According to APC Mag, Vista’s SP1 update quietly introduces a new version of the Longhorn kernel, numbered 6.0.6001 (version 6.0, build 6001). That version is one build newer than the one in the original Vista release, and it’s exactly the same as the one included in Windows Server 2008. APC Mag has posted screenshots of registry editor windows in both operating systems to prove it, too.

The site speculates that Microsoft hasn’t played up the kernel upgrade because “they’re keen to promote the improvements and enhancements to Vista, rather than placing emphasis on a kernel upgrade, which some people might see as a risk of newly-introduced instability.” There’s no word yet on the enhancements or changes introduced in the new kernel, though.

Comments closed
    • slot_one
    • 13 years ago

    Does it do WinFS?

      • Mithent
      • 13 years ago

      No, that was never planned for SP1, as far as I know. Considering how long Microsoft have been trying to release WinFS and its ancestors, it’ll probably come out some time in the 2020s.

    • Stranger
    • 13 years ago

    Straight from microsoft….. not sure this counts as exactly sneaky
    §[<<]§ "Windows Vista Alignment with Windows Server 2008 Windows Vista is aligned with Windows Server 2008, meaning that many files are common to both products. A result of this design is that there are cases where a common binary is modified to enable a server scenario that has limited or no effect on Windows Vista SP1 capabilities. Here are few examples: • File Sharing: The file sharing subsystem on Windows Vista only allows 10 concurrent inbound connections. Windows Server 2008 must scale to support thousands of concurrent connections. During the testing and customer feedback phase of Windows Server 2008 development, the file sharing subsystems are tuned and refined to optimize the file sharing stack for performance, scalability and reliability. This level of tuning and refinement are not typically applicable on a 10-connection limit client, but are critical to a file server role. Changes like this are done primarily for the server scenarios, although these changes may also benefit Windows Vista SP1. • IIS 7: IIS was included in some Windows Vista SKUs to enable web-based developers to write and test their applications. IIS in Windows Server 2008 is a significant server role which requires Internet-level scalability and performance requirements. The IIS7 components have gone through significant performance and reliability enhancements since Windows Vista originally shipped, in order to be a large-scale server component. These changes do not affect most Windows Vista users who do not even have the IIS7 components installed, however because Windows Vista and Windows Server are aligned, these changes are included in Windows Vista SP1. • Concurrent User Support: Key subsystems such as the Windows Logon process and the core kernel need only support user-switching scenarios on Windows Vista. However, on Windows Server 2008, where a Terminal Server may have thousands of users logged in simultaneously, these subsystems must be tuned for maximum performance and reliability. Changes like this are done primarily for the server scenarios, although they may also benefit Windows Vista SP1."

    • pogsnet
    • 13 years ago
      • d2brothe
      • 13 years ago

      *sigh*…do you know anything…. The “unix” kernel…WHICH unix kernel…there are dozens…unix is a system following the posix standard…which windows supports btw… and why do you assume the windows kernel is more difficult to debug than a particular unix kernel…say…Linux… have you seen the source? There are simply more people debugging linux.

    • TripQue
    • 13 years ago

    It’s hardly a surprise: Microsoft has long stated that the code base and kernel for Vista and Server 2008 would be reunified when Vista SP1 shipped. This isn’t even news…Paul Thurrott mentioned it on his site as far back as September 30, 2007 ( §[<<]§ ), and I think it's been discussed for a while prior to that. (I didn't do an exhaustive link search, but I found another mention on a blog as far back as June 17, 2006- that's right, before Vista was officially released - §[<<]§ ). How is this news to anyone?

      • insulin_junkie72
      • 13 years ago


      Next, APC Mag will discover the earth revolves around the sun.

        • SGT Lindy
        • 13 years ago


        Thank you for paying up to $400 to be an official beta tester for Windows 2008. You can download (in March) the RTM version of Vista…for free for being a beta tester.

        Push shit code to 100 million people….yeah right, to 35 million people so they can save you money on beta testers. Heck its pure genius since you got people to pay for it!!!

        MS laughs on the way to the bank while foolish people line for this treatment.

          • barich
          • 13 years ago

          There are plenty of us who have had few problems with Vista and find that its improvements far outweigh the minor issues (i.e. file copy performance). In case you hadn’t noticed, every OS takes a service pack or point release or two to become largely stable and mature. No matter how much beta testing is done, there’s no way to know exactly how the OS is going to behave on every possible hardware and software configuration.

            • SGT Lindy
            • 13 years ago

            §[<<]§ This article sums up Vista perfectly IMHO. I am not a Vista hater, I had it working fine, minus horrible network transfers that finally pushed me off it. Between Vista and the 360 problems MS is not looking out for users.

            • d2brothe
            • 13 years ago

            You are a vista hater….you bashed it in the previous post. Im so god damned sick of people bashing vista for no good reason. I just get so tired of standing up for it. I mean seriously…it has flaws…but it is not as bad as everyone says..and it certaintly wasn’t a beta test. I mean, holy shit…I’ve been using it for a year…it seems to me that its a usable os…or maybe what did you say 100 million users are just not using their computer….

          • TechNut
          • 13 years ago

          Not to be a troll, but uh, do you think Linux is any better? Red Hat, Novell and the other “enterprise” Linux vendors regularly test their kernels on the general population before locking it down for their corporate customers. In the case of say RHEL, maybe a few thousand people test a release externally at maximum. Internally at Red Hat, there are not more than 50 or so people who even test a release.

          Heck, read LKML, and you’ll hear APKM complaining of the lack of people doing testing and you’ll see the regression count, i.e. bugs that appear from each stable Linux kernel release to the next is increasing.

          MS has thousands of automated systems testing with drivers and obscure configurations. If you’ve ever worked with the MS Data Center Edition product, you’ll know why it is called that for a reason. The drivers and platforms have been 100% tested and certified through all of the kernel bits, plus userspace. This ensures no BSOD’s. Yes, they can happen, but it’s farrrrr more likely with that product to be faulty hardware than software.

          So, I’d rather take a kernel that is road tested, over something “out of the labs”. If you remember Windows Server 2003 was based off of XP’s kernel. This is no different.

          Vista haters.. gotta love them 😀

          • kaikara
          • 13 years ago

          What like Apple did with OS X? Early adopters always take it in the ass when it comes to problems. If you don’t like it then stick with the tried and true until SP1 or 2 comes out. But don’t be a troll and make it sound like MS is the only software company to roll out software in this way. They are all guilty of it. Also the vast majority paid no where near 400 dollars for their copy of Vista.

            • Jive
            • 13 years ago

            You’re right, i paid nothing (yes nothing) for my Vista Ultimate retail copy, straight from Microsoft themselves.

            • Peldor
            • 13 years ago

            Live Search Club? Very generous of them, I thought.

            • Master Kenobi
            • 13 years ago

            Vista Ultimate and Office Pro 2007. Compliments of Microsoft for attending the launch event (also free). 🙂

          • StashTheVampede
          • 13 years ago

          With that line of thinking: you’ll NEVER truly have a desire to re-write what needs to be re-written.

          Linux is A LOT like this (no, I’m not trolling): they have support for SO MUCH hardware, so many different chipsets and so many workarounds for all these things — it would be very difficult to start over and still support all the things the previous kernels support.

          Vista, as a release, is a HUGE thing for MS. SPs are only icing on the cake.

    • Forge
    • 13 years ago

    Windows XP64 is also Windows 2003 for Enterprise Professionals aka Win2003 Pro. The naming was changed, but probably shouldn’t have been.

    I’ll install Vista 64 SP1 tonight.

    I’ll probably restore my imaged XP64 install in a few weeks.

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 13 years ago

    The KFC kernel chicken.

      • albundy
      • 13 years ago

      its toonie tuesday man! it all tastes like chicken, but is it really chicken?

        • DASQ
        • 13 years ago

        I remember when it was actually a toonie.

        Now it’s $2.29 or something.

          • willyolio
          • 13 years ago

          2.69. it went up again.

    • herothezero
    • 13 years ago

    It can only be a good thing, especially for corporate folks migrating to W2K8.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 13 years ago

    I’d like to see Uber’s take on this. Seems like a bold move.

      • UberGerbil
      • 13 years ago

      Nah. As others have said, this is neither surprising nor all that significant. I certainly wouldn’t call it sneaky or even novel. When Server 2K3 debuted they rolled the kernel improvements (which were pretty significant) into XP SP2. It’s SOP for MS to try to maintain a common kernel base — it keeps the testing burden down for everyone else (from the shell guys to the IHV driver writers). Most of the changes were likely in the plans from the start — the old WinHEC slides would always talk about “Kernel Improvements for Windows Vista and Windows Longhorn”
      §[<<]§ There are always optimizations you don't have time for and features you cut; this gives second chance to get them into the product. Now if they'd changed the driver model or something, that would've been bold (and stupid).

    • Krogoth
    • 13 years ago

    Who cares. It is probably just more of a fix list then a radical kenrel change.

    FYI, XP64 has the same kenrel as 2003 Server. 😉

      • Fighterpilot
      • 13 years ago

      “Yawn”…..”Who cares” etc etc…why do you even bother posting?
      If it’s all such a dreadful bore to you perhaps you ought to “move on”.

        • bthylafh
        • 13 years ago

        Makes him feel important.

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