The Windows Vista Team Blog announced two weeks ago that Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1), which became available as a standalone package in mid-March, would be rolled out slowly to users who have "automatic updates" turned on and whose machines don’t contain any problematic drivers. Today, those two conditions were met by me and my HTC Shift X9500.
The Shift’s 800MHz A110 processor isn’t well suited for multitasking, so unlike on my Vaio TZ (which, incidentally, still hasn’t gotten SP1), whenever there are updates available, I wait until I’m done with whatever I’m doing before letting Windows do its thing. I generally install anything marked "important" and "recommended" that Windows Update offers me (I use the "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them" setting), so when SP1 appeared without fanfare, I almost missed it and continued checking my RSS feeds.
I had an about 90 minutes to spare before I needed to leave the house, so I figured the 66.9MB update, whose long list of improvements can be found at the Windows Vista TechCenter, would have more than enough time to download and install.
The download itself took nearly half an hour. After that, Windows let me know that it could take another hour or more for the installation to be complete and that I wouldn’t be able to use the Shift until everything was complete. Even though I prepared not to use it, it was still a little jarring to see that what has always been my choice was now a requirement.
By the time I needed to get out of the house, SP1 had only gotten through 12% of the first of three stages in its installation.
I don’t know how much longer it took to complete, but when I got home two hours later, it had installed successfully and without issue. I haven’t noticed any difference in performance since then, but my Windows Experience Index base score, which was 2.0 when I first set up the Shift, is now 2.1. It’s an insignificant upgrade, sure, but it’s an upgrade nonetheless.
The service pack through Automatic Updates hasn’t caused any trouble for me so far, but the same can’t be said for those who installed the standalone package. While several users at the xda-developers forum are experiencing issues with 3G connectivity using the balanced power plan, Pocketables reader Ian left the following comment on my Shift unboxing post:
HTC do need to sort out the Vista driver issues. The display driver gets headaches after the sp1 installation, the SD card pops in and out of existence, while the NDIS driver for the HSDPA gets lost on the Vista side. The display driver in particular can lead to blue screens.
The fact that SP1 was automatically distributed to my Shift leads me to assume that the driver issues have indeed been sorted out, but I’ll keep you posted if something happens to make me think otherwise.
If you’ve got an HTC Shift that "qualifies" for Vista Service Pack 1, be on the lookout for the update soon.