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Vista Sp2 And Bing

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Vista SP2 and Bing

Vista Service Pack 2 is available, but not mandatory. Yet. Microsoft's new internet search engine is available, and it's kind of...interesting.

Vista Service Pack 2 Is Available

Vista Service Pack 2 is available for download. It includes the bug fixes that have already been released for Vista, as well as three major new improvements.

WiFi and Bluetooth performance is better with SP2. Another improvement is a cleanup utility, which automatically tidies up after the installation. People have reported regaining tens of gigabytes of hard drive space after installing Service Pack 2.

The third major improvement is in the Windows Search feature in Vista. Windows Search 4.0 is the program indexes and then finds files, including documents, email messages, music files, and other items, on your computer.

For now, you will have to download SP2 if you want it. Later this year, it will show up in the regular Microsoft Updates. You can download SP2 for 32-bit systems here:

Vista SP2 for 32-bit systems -;displaylang=en

If you are running a 64-bit edition, you'll need this version:

Vista SP2 for 64-bit systems -;displaylang=en

If you are not sure which you are running, check this Microsoft article:

Microsoft article -

Service Pack 2 will make some significant changes to your system files, it will take some time, and you should prepare. Back up your important files before you start the installation. I also recommend backing up all your drivers with DriverMax ( or DriverBackup! 2 (

When you are ready to begin the installation:

Turn off your anti-virus and anti-spyware

Turn off any third-party firewalls, and enable the Windows firewall

If you are installing to a laptop, make sure it is plugged in. You do not want to lose power in the middle of a Service Pack installation!

Unplug any UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) devices

Expect the installation to take at least an hour, and expect at least one system restart. Also, please note that you must have Service Pack 1 installed before you can install Service Pack 2. If you try to install SP2 on a machine that doesn't have SP1 installed, it will not work.

Microsoft offers free support for Service Pack 2 issues, until November, 2009. The site is here:

Service Pac 2 support -;wf=Workflow

They could have called it anything. But they called it "Bing".

Microsoft's latest challenge to search engine behemoth Google is called, for some reason, Bing. You can get there by browsing to

Microsoft describes Bing as bringing us "a richer, more organized search experience." I guess in comparison to MSN Search or to Live Search (two previous search engine offerings from Microsoft), that could be true. But in comparison to the 800-pound gorilla of search engines? I'm not sure this is a richer experience than Google Search.

Results are organized differently, though. I like the "Related Search" suggestions down the left side of the page. (See the graphic for some --- probably --- unintended humour.) And, hovering on a result reveals text from the website. That can be helpful if you're really not sure whether to click on a given result or not. (The screen capture here shows the green circles which are part of my Web of Trust Firefox add-on. Bing itself doesn't rate the sites.) And if a site that comes up in the search results includes video, you can preview the video right on the Bing results page.

I think Bing will take some getting used to, and I'm not sure many people will find it compelling enough to switch from Google for all or even most of their searching. Bing is probably better at some things than Google. It's now, for Microsoft, a matter of getting people to try Bing and discover what those things are.

taken from Cate's columns.

No copywrite & may be shared.

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