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Microsoft Wrap: Vista, IE7 and .NET 3.5 Updates

Vista SP1 May Arrive Feb. 15
A rumor is spreading across the Web that Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) may be scheduled to arrive on Feb. 15.

The date appears to have come via a report from a Taiwan-based news agency, according to the Washington Post. Microsoft has said before that it will release SP1 this quarter, but will not comment on the the Feb. 15 date or offer further detail.

The release candidate (RC) version of SP1 was released late last year, with a "refresh" update published earlier this month.

According to Redmond magazine columnist and All About Microsoft blogger Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft is aiming to release Vista SP1 before the official launch event for Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 on Feb. 27.

IE 7 To Be Pushed Out Via WSUS Auto-Update in February
Cecilia Cole, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) program manager, announced today on Microsoft's WSUS team blog that the service will force-push out Internet Explorer 7 to organizations with WSUS set to auto-approve updates.

The rollout will come on Feb. 12, the same day Microsoft is scheduled to release that month's Patch Tuesday update.

According to Cole's post, the push will affect "few" users as most do not use the nondefault auto-update setting, although no figures were given.

According to Microsoft knowledge base article KB946202, IT admins who use the auto-update setting will have to disable it before Feb. 12 in order to avert the push. The article contains instructions for disabling auto-approve, as well as for avoiding it from being installed when reenabling the auto-updates after the release.

Microsoft Posts .NET 3.5 Framework Download
Yesterday, Microsoft posted the final version of the .NET Framework 3.5 to its download site, as well as several updates to other .NET Framework versions.

The Framework 3.5 download includes SP1 updates to .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0, which are also available as separate downloads. .NET Framework 3.0 download is available here. For the .NET Framework 2.0 SP1, three versions are available: x86, x64 and IA64.

Microsoft released the 3.5 Framework when it launched Visual Studio 2008 back in November. This is the first time that the new framework has been available as a separate download from the Microsoft site.

Redmond considers 3.5 an "incremental" build improving on the "new features added in .NET Framework 3.0 [such as] Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and Windows CardSpace." Probably the most noteworthy addition to 3.5 is LINQ, but it also features additional protocol support, new classes and integration with Visual Studio 2008. A quick comparison of all .NET versions is available here.

Microsoft has posted a number of other downloads of interest for developers in the past few days, including:

Microsoft began releasing the source code for the .NET Framework Libraries last week.

Microsoft Releases Slew of Minor Vista Fixes
Microsoft has posted a number of Vista fixes to its download Web site in the past week.

Four of the downloads -- KB945435, KB945335, KB945145 and KB945145 -- deal with issues related to WebDAV in Vista, particularly on start-up.

The company also released an update (KB945149) to improve graphics performance in Vista on x64 systems.

Other fixes released Monday address issues with WPF (KB938660 and KB938660) and MMC snap-ins (KB944652 and KB944652).

These fixes come on the heels of several downloads posted last week, including a fix for issues encountered with partially installed language packs (KB947506) and security updates for Vista SP1 RC0 (KB941644 and KB94164).

For more details on all of these updates, use the links above.

About the Author

Becky Nagel is a contributor to Application Development Trends. She is the editor of ADT's sister sites CertCities.com, TCPmag.com and Redmondmag.com, and is co-editor of RCPmag.com. You can contact her at bnagel@1105media.com.

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