The final version of Vista SP1 focuses on under-the-hood improvements to reliability, security, and performance, with very few changes made to the interface or Vista's features.

Tweaking the search

The only other notable visible change in Vista SP1 is the way it allows users to substitute an alternate search tool for the one built into Vista, and removes the Search link from the Start menu.

With SP1, you can use non-Vista party search technology, such as Google Desktop Search, as your default search, by choosing Start --> Default Programs --> Set your default programs.

Also, if you choose Start --> Default Programs --> Associate a file type or protocol with a specific program, you'll see a new entry in the protocol section, called Search. Use it to configure which program opens when you click on a file that uses the Windows Search protocol.

In addition, when you type a search term into the Start menu search box and results appear, the name of the category for the links to additional searches have changed from "See all results" pre-SP1, to "Search Everywhere" in SP1. The "Search the Internet" link, however, remains unchanged.

An odd network bug

We did encounter one odd network bug in SP1, but as far as we know, it affects only our setup - we haven't heard about it anywhere else. On our home network, which uses a Linksys WRT54GX4 router, we can't connect to other Vista PCs from our SP1 system when we use wireless networking. We can, however, connect wirelessly to other XP PCs. And if we connect via Ethernet, we can connect to both Vista and XP PCs.

Equally odd is that we can ping other Vista machines from the SP1 machine without any problems. And we can also take remote control of another Vista PC, using Remote Desktop Connection. However, we can take remote control of it only if we establish a Remote Desktop Connection using the machine's IP address rather than its name.

NEXT PAGE: Other changes to Windows Vista SP1 > >

See also:

Windows Vista: the definitive review

Windows Vista SP1 Release Candidate review

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