With the release of the gold version of Service Pack 1, but also with the maturing of the software and hardware environment orbiting around the Windows client, Windows Vista's compatibility level has continually increased.
Still, Microsoft is very much hammering away at the operating system with its evangelism wheels in motion to gather additional support for the platform. On top of the compatibility improvements delivered via SP1, the Redmond giant continues to kick the platform up a notch with the introduction of Application Compatibility updates. The latest release in this regard went live on August 12, Microsoft's traditional Patch Tuesday.
The August 2008 Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 Application Compatibility Update is being distributed through the Windows Update infrastructure, but is also served through the Microsoft Download Center. The end purpose of the update is to provide resolves to specific application compatibility problems with the latest Windows client and server operating systems.
In this context, Vista RTM, SP1 and Windows Server 2008 have been updated to play nice with Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5. As far as the two solutions are concerned, Microsoft indicated that it has improved their functionality for the two operating systems.
On top of this, the Redmond giant has also hard blocked One Key Recovery 5.0, a piece of software which caused black screens of death for Vista RTM to Vista SP1 upgrades. "The update puts a hard block on the application. A hard block prevents an application that is incompatible with Windows Vista from running on the system. Microsoft puts a hard block on a non-Microsoft application only when the manufacturer of the application gives its consent," the company informed.
One Key Recovery 5.0 was incompatible with Windows Vista, and in this sense the reason for the black screen of death which followed the reboot after an SP1 installation on top of Vista RTM. The fix is only provided for Vista, although Windows XP SP3 is also affected. "'Windows Vista Application Compatibility Updates are cumulative. Each update contains all the improvements that were included in previous application compatibility updates," Microsoft added.
The August 2008 Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 Application Compatibility Update is available for download via the following links:
Update for Windows Server 2008 (KB954336)
Update for Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems (KB954336)
Update for Windows Server 2008 x64 Edition (KB954336)
Update for Windows Vista (KB954336)
Update for Windows Vista for x64-based Systems (KB954336)