I installed Vista SP1 today on my main PC. Besides rolling up all previous patches and critical updates, one thing I know it’s supposed to fix is the copy / move files performance problem over a network. Originally, Vista would flash a message about calculating how long the copy / move would take, which could take quite a while if you were copying big files or a lot of files. This appears to have been fixed because I copied 2 files which were together about 3 GB and the time calculation was instant like in the old days, changing as the files copied. There was no slow down in the copy process.
The availability of this service pack is now for Technet subscribers (like me) and mid-March for everyone else. I downloaded both the service pack exe file and an ISO DVD image for both the x86 and x64 versions of SP1; I used the exe when installing on my PC. The install, like most things nowadays with Microsoft, was totally dummied-down: there was only a green bar in the beginning to tell you anything was happening (I actually got more information from my hard drive LED as the green bar stopped for quite some time, but my hard drive just kept going). Also, for once Microsoft was right on target on the length of time for the install – they said at least an hour and an hour is about how long it took. After a couple of reboots and stages 1 through 3 clicking off to 100%, I finally was able to login and received a message that the service pack install completed successfully.
Only other thing of note is that I left my McAfee AV on during the process (I couldn’t disable it for some reason and didn’t feel like wasting time trying) but your results may vary (the service pack install recommends disabling your AV program).
I haven’t noticed any other changes or features, but, to be honest, I’m just glad I completed the upgrade without issue.