Early adopters and members of the "wait and see" crowd have been eagerly awaiting the first Windows Vista service pack. Their wait will be over when Microsoft finally releases SP1 to the public next month. The pack is expected to include many improvements, most of which we've already listed in previous posts on the subject. Vista SP1 is also supposed to be a good deal snappier than the operating system's original release.
Everyone will be able to check performance for themselves next month, but the folks over at PC World have taken an early look at the release-to-manufacturing version of SP1 to see what kinds of speed improvements users can expect. PC World looked at file manipulations, and the results do show some promise, although they are somewhat mixed. A large file copy involving 562 images for a total of 1.9GB was 9% quicker on SP1 (348 seconds instead of 384). Boot and shutdown times were slightly shorter, as well, albeit by only 1-3 seconds. However, a couple of smaller file operations involving third-party programs actually took 3-4% longer on other test machines with SP1 installed. More test results should come as SP1 nears its public release.