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1/30/2007
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Microsoft Updates Vista Before Rollout

The download includes fixes for installing the operating system on PCs with more than 3 Gbytes of memory, troubles connecting with a VPN, and performance issues in IE 7.

Microsoft released several updates to Windows Vista on Monday, the day before the new operating system debuted for consumers and landed on retail shelves. None of the updates was a security fix.

The five updates for the 32-bit version of Vista -- one was immediately replaced Tuesday with an update to the update -- fix difficulties installing the operating system on PCs with more than 3 Gbytes of memory, troubles connecting with a VPN (virtual private network) server, and performance problems with Internet Explorer 7 and its anti-phishing feature.

The largest of the five updates, however, is one that addresses incompatibility issues for a host of applications and games, ranging from Adobe's PhotoShop to Zoo Tycoon. Multiple Microsoft titles -- Microsoft Money, Outlook 2003 -- are also on the list. Others of note include Opera 9.02, IBM Rescue and Recovery with Rapid Restore, Roxio Easy Media Creator 7.5, and RealPlayer.

Users should not only expect a steady clip of updates to Vista, said a Gartner analyst, but they should actively sniff them out.

"Once you get a new machine, you should connect to Windows Update to get security updates, even if no driver updates are required. You should also familiarize yourself with whatever facility the PC manufacturer provides for driver updates and see if they have any updates," said Gartner research VP Steve Kleynhans in an online note.

"The bottom line is that, with Vista, as with any new platform, early buyers of new Vista machines should expect that there will be a few rough spots to be worked through during the next few weeks, and they will need to stay connected to both Microsoft and their PC maker," Kleynhans said.

Vista users can retrieve any necessary updates via the operating system's built-in Windows Update feature. Alternately, they can download them from the Microsoft Web site.

The first scheduled security updates after the consumer release of Vista are pegged for Feb. 13.

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