Windows Vista SP1 does nothing for application compatibility

Applying the SP1 update to Vista does nothing to improve its application compatibility, with almost 20 percent of software still unable to run, a study has found. Recently founded application testing company AppDNA ran a 'before' and 'after' on Vista using SP1 (service pack 1) using its AppTitude system, finding that it made no difference […]

Applying the SP1 update to Vista does nothing to improve its application compatibility, with almost 20 percent of software still unable to run, a study has found.

Recently founded application testing company AppDNA ran a 'before' and 'after' on Vista using SP1 (service pack 1) using its AppTitude system, finding that it made no difference whatsoever to its ability to run a test suite of corporate 500 applications, 18 percent of which failed to work without help.

As bad as this sounds, the company rated this as good news because service packs normally introduce as many problems as they solve. That SP1 left compatibility performance unchanged was in stark contrast to the experience with SP2 for Windows XP, which unexpectedly broke many applications that had worked before.

"Organizations have been waiting to see SP1. But people have been wary after SP2 [for XP]," said AppDNA's CTO, Paul Schnell. "The updates have been incremental and had no impact on compatibility."

The AppTitude testing software used an algorithmic technique to look at applications for behavior known to break Vista. The company also ran usability tests by loading software and digging around to see whether there were issues, Schnell said.

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Microsoft, Windows Vista, Service Pack, SP1, Vista SP1, Application, Compatibility