Updates and service packs do not serve as exclusive methods of adding functionality to Microsoft’s operating system. In this regard, feature packs are designed to enhance a Windows platform with various components and features on top of the standard releases that are part of a product’s lifecycle.
Case in point: Windows Vista Feature Pack for Wireless made available as of April 16. This is Microsoft’s way of delivering added functionality to Windows Vista on top of the recently released Service Pack 1.
“This software update includes the following components or features that improve wireless support in Windows Vista: Bluetooth version 2.1 support, Unified Pairing user interface, Windows Connect Now updates. Some of these features may work with existing hardware. However, you must have new hardware to take advantage of the new functionality,” Microsoft revealed.
The Redmond company released Windows Vista Service Pack 1 to manufacturing on February 4, 2008. At this point in time, Vista RTM users have access to all 36 language versions of SP1 through Windows Update and the Download Center with the company planning to drop the service pack via Automatic Updates any day now. However, the proximity between SP1 and the Feature Pack does not mean that the extended wireless capabilities have been added to the service pack.
In fact, the Vista Feature Pack for Wireless is an addition to SP1, requiring the service pack in order to install. “This update is compatible with all versions of Windows Vista. It can be installed only on a computer that is running Windows Vista Service Pack 1,” Microsoft stated. However, the company does plan to add the components launched through the Feature Pack for wireless to the next full product release of Windows Vista. The company did not disclose any additional details on its future plans related to Vista.
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