Microsoft Yanks Vista SP1 Update File

As if Windows Vista hasn’t suffered enough embarrassment over technical problems, Microsoft today was forced to pull one of the three requisite update files to install Service Pack 1 (SP1), thus delaying the availability of the service pack itself.

There had been a growing number of reports on the Internet, including on Microsoft’s TechNet site, of users getting stuck with Vista reporting “Configurating updates: stage 3 of 3 – 0% complete” on-screen before going into an endless loop of reboots.

As a result, Vista program manager Nick White made a blog posting stating Microsoft’s decision to “temporarily suspend automatic distribution of the update.”

White said Microsoft needs time to investigate possible causes of the reboot bug before it can make the file — called KB937287 — available through Windows Update. Microsoft did not respond to inquiries from for further information.

[cob:Related_Articles]The problem doesn’t actually affect SP1, which was considered finished and done at the beginning of February. However, Microsoft decided to delay its release until mid-March, irritating some users. If KB937287 installs on the user’s computer without the reboot bug, then they can install SP1.

Michael Cherry, lead analyst for operating system research at Directions on Microsoft, said this is one more embarrassment for the OS. “Vista may overtake [Windows] ME in people’s minds as the worst version of Windows. This does not help,” he said.

Aside from making Vista unpalatable, Cherry said it hurts Microsoft in other ways as well. “It only feeds this idea or concept that you don’t want to be the first to install patches from Microsoft. The danger is as vulnerabilities are coming up for these exploits, you don’t want to be the last guy to patch, either.”

However, he was sympathetic to Microsoft’s situation when it comes to all the permutations of PC hardware. “Whenever they make an update, they have the Herculean task of trying to test it on all the combinations of systems that might be out there and they do they best they can. However, it’s not uncommon and certainly unfortunate that some combination of systems will experience a problem. The fact they’ve had to recall [the patch] probably means it was a growing number,” he said.

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