2008: Year of the Vista Patch?
- By Jabulani Leffall
Just moments after Microsoft rolled out its last seven
of 2007, security experts were prognosticating all over
cyberspace, mainly pointing out the overwhelming number of fixes related to
the Vista operating system in the December release alone.
Eric Schultze, chief technology officer of St. Paul, Minn.-based Shavlik
Technologies, even went so far as to say 2008 would be the year of the
It looks like IT pros won't even have to wait that
long to get a gander at some of the holes to be plugged via hotfixes and
security patches in the forthcoming Vista SP1 release. Microsoft this week
released a comprehensive list of more than 300 security hotfixes to be included in SP1.
the fixes -- ranging from the OS itself to related applications and services
such as Internet Explorer, Excel, Visual Studio and even Unix migration --
are already in existence from successive Patch Tuesdays and can be
downloaded and patched individually. But there are lots of new issues as
"Given what we've seen, what we are seeing and what we will
see with this operating system, I would certainly expect the coming year to
be full of Vista Patches," said Schultze.
According to Redmond,
among the major aspects of SP1 will be improved remote security, especially
regarding Remote Desktop Protocol files. RemoteApp programs can be accessed
remotely through Terminal Services but appear as if they're running on the
end user's local PC. Redmond is stepping up its commitment to security for
desktop users communicating with servers running Terminal Services.
SP1 will also enhance OS performance on PCs connected to virtual private
networks and other virtual machine peripherals, according to the software
Additionally, as previously reported, application programming interfaces will be configured in SP1 to
help independent software vendors develop programs and applications
extending the functionality of the Windows kernel. BitLocker encryption and
a revamped Windows Security Center are also on that list.
all patch announcements and releases from Redmond, the list is subject to
change, either contracting or expanding ahead of the official release of the
service pack. Microsoft also stated in the list's abstract that "newer
hotfixes and security updates will continue to be included in the Service
Pack until closer to the release date."
Jabulani Leffall is a business consultant and an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the Financial Times of London, Investor's Business Daily, The Economist and CFO Magazine, among others. He consulted for Deloitte & Touche LLP and was a business and world affairs commentator on ABC and CNN.