Tuesday, November 4, 2008

If you like to stay on the bleeding edge of technology (and you’re running Vista) you may want to consider modifying two registry keys on your system so that you can participate in the Vista SP2 Beta program.

To join the program all you have to do is download this batch file, and run it on your Vista machine as an administrator. Then just check for available Windows Updates (it may take 30 minutes or so for it to show up in the Windows Updates).

Think carefully whether you want to do this or not. There will likely be some bugs that could cause problems with your system, but at the very least it will cause Vista to expire on 4/2/2010 (or around then). Plus it will place the “Evaluation copy” message on your desktop wallpaper. You can always uninstall Vista SP2 to remove the evaluation message and expiration date, but it’s important to know what you’re getting into before you try to install it.

So what’s new in Vista SP2? Here’s a brief rundown that the Vista blog provided last week:

* Windows Vista SP2 adds Windows Search 4.0 for faster and improved relevancy in searches.
* Windows Vista SP2 contains the Bluetooth 2.1 Feature Pack supporting the most recent specification for Bluetooth Technology.
* Ability to record data on to Blu-Ray media natively in Windows Vista.
* Adds Windows Connect Now (WCN) to simplify Wi-Fi Configuration.
* Windows Vista SP2 enables the exFAT file system to support UTC timestamps, which allows correct file synchronization across time zones.

Windows Vista SP2 is expected to be released in final form sometime in the first half of 2009. Judging by the expiration date of Vista SP2 Beta I’d say that sounds about right.

Windows Vista SP2 batch file (link 1)
Windows Vista SP2 batch file (link 2)

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