I was looking around for new items this morning, and I happened to go to the PC Magazine website. It is something I don’t do much anymore, because I read their major articles in my feed reader, and also because they don’t have much that interests me any more [John Dvorak is about it these days].

Most of the authors there either are writing about things other than PCs, or they are so new to PCs that they reveal little information I don’t already know. The worst part of this is that I remember when PC Magazine was a vibrant publication, coming out 22 times per year, and it had interesting and new stuff about computers and the computing industry in each issue. (When they ask why they had to stop printing the magazine on paper, someone should remind them of that, and that before the end of the paper run, it had become a shadow of its former self. It had little to do with the cost of paper!) Certainly there is new information to be gleaned from the computer industry, and new things are happening with computers all the time – the difference is that many things are incremental in nature, and not game changing events as once was the case. These innovations are still important, and, if covered properly, still of interest to many, as the tech section of Ars Technica and the site AnandTech show.

One of the problems with the current PC Magazine is the third hand reporting – the “I heard someone say that Microsoft might do this” sort of material. Back in the old days I am sure that this sort of thing took place, but the quality of the writing was better, and the speculative nature of the writing was better hidden. I would think that someone from PC Magazine should have enough cachet with Microsoft to get the story “straight from the horse’s mouth”.

Nevertheless, it is something worth thinking about – will there be a third service pack for Vista? And – will it be anything more than a collection of already released patches?

Microsoft hasn’t announced any intention to release a service pack 3 for Windows Vista, but there’s reason to believe they will anyway.

There are little hints, like this hotfix for Windows Vista which lists its release target as “sp3.” But I’m more impressed by this askvg.com post which (citing user “Smartie77” without a link) lists a long line of updates to be provided in the just pre-released SP1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 which, individually, have also been released for Vista.

The implication of Smartie77’s list is that it would be easy and logical for Microsoft to provide SP3 for Vista. Alternatively they could provide an SRP (Security Rollup Package). SRPs are bundles of other updates and therefore not unlike most Service Packs, but they don’t provide a new baseline of support and don’t extend or complicate the support lifecycle for the product.

I fully realize that these sort of “Deep Throat” confessions are often the best we can get, and many times reveal truth, but again, I remember when PC Magazine had the stuff to go straight to Microsoft and ask the pertinent questions, and get any news items.




floating_rock -philosophy

Some things don’t change…

Also, people used to read more than two sentences at a time, and comprehension levels were higher as well…