Collection of published Vista SP1 API changes from MSDN

Windows Vista SP1Microsoft might choose not to tell its enthusiasts anything about Windows Vista Service Pack 1, but they can’t afford to keep it a secret to the development community. For the same reasons some argue SP1 is the Holy Grail for Windows Vista, a newer kernel means changes to a very significant component of an operating system. However this is a significantly minor update to the kernel compared to what was endured just months ago, APIs have already been added, changed and even obsoleted.

Since Microsoft wouldn’t publish any documentation of their own for the time being, here is a list I’ve compiled from the MSDN Library of all the changes taking effect in Vista SP1 published to-date. Whilst most of these documentation won’t make sense for non-developers (myself included), think of it like reading a foreign-language newspaper – find all the proper nouns then make up the story.


  • Windows Installer 4.1 (4.0.6001) – "Windows Installer 4.1 updates Windows Installer 4.0 without adding any new features"
  • Application Compatibility Cookbook – "There are no architectural changes for Windows Vista SP1. Applications that are compatible with Windows Vista RTM should continue to be compatible with Windows Vista SP1."
  • IPv6 Traffic over VPN Connections – "Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP). SSTP is only supported by Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 (SP1, now in beta testing)" ["Now in beta testing". Doh, another Microsoft typo. I’ll correct it for them, they meant Windows Server 2008.]
  • Process Afinity – controls which processor a process runs on in a multi-processor environment
  • Cryptographic Next Generation (CNG)
    • CNG Algorithm Identifiers – Vista SP1 support 2 new Algorithm Identifiers
      • BCRYPT_AES_GMAC_ALGORITHM "AES-GMAC" – "The advanced encryption standard (AES) Galois message authentication code (GMAC) symmetric encryption algorithm."
      • BCRYPT_RNG_DUAL_EC_ALGORITHM "DUALECRNG" – "The dual elliptical curve random-number generator algorithm."
    • Cryptography Primitive Property Identifiers – Vista SP1 support 2 new Property Identifiers
      • BCRYPT_CHAIN_MODE_CCM – "Sets the provider’s chaining mode to counter with CBC-MAC mode (CCM)."
      • BCRYPT_CHAIN_MODE_GCM – "Sets the provider’s chaining mode to Galois/counter mode (GCM)."
  • WdsTransportClient – Windows Deployment Services Transport Client
  • Network Access Protection
    Steve BallmerThis is a long list, so here’s some extra enthusiasm to cheer you on. “Developers, developers, developers”
  • Network Connected Devices – Function Discovery
    • IFunctionDiscoveryNotification::OnEvent – Vista SP1 adds support for 1 new event
      • FD_EVENTID_IPADDRESSCHANGE – "The IP address of the NIC changed. Events may be sent when a power event occurs (for example, when machine wakes from sleep) or when roaming with a laptop."
  • Native Wifi
    • Profile XML Schema
      • MSM (WLANProfile) Element – Vista SP1 adds support for 1 new 802.11 wireless LAN standard
        • phyType – "The value "n" is only supported on Windows Vista SP1 and later versions of the operating system"
  • Terminal Services
  • KeNumberProcessors – "…is obsolete in Windows Vista SP1, Windows Server 2008, and later operating systems." [In order to support Dynamic Hardware Partitioning (DHP)– hot-adding CPUs at runtime – number of processors may not be constant.]
  • GetTimeZoneInformationForYear – "Retrieves the time zone settings for the specified year and time zone. These settings control the translations between Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and local time."
  • DirectX Japan – Vista SP1 adds support for new Korean game rating system (Game Rating Board) and support for renewed Japanese rating system.
  • WHQL and logo program

I expect this list to grow dramatically when SP1 actually kicks in to beta. Of course like any other set of APIs, none of these matter if no one uses them. I don’t know about you, but I just can’t wait to generate some dual elliptical curve random-numbers.

And who can blame the French for writing down dates. Mind you, “Dates et lieux susceptibles de changements”. Merci!

French Excel spreadsheet with Windows Vista SP1 expected release date

In case you were wondering, yes, I am a lonely person. 🙁

Update (23 July): New Smart Card Minidriver Specification describes new “Secure PIN Channel” functionality in SP1. “Secure PIN channel is a new feature in Windows Vista SP1 that enables a secure PIN prompt followed by establishment of a secure channel between Windows and the smart card for PIN authentication.”

31 insightful thoughts

  1. Too bad I was expecting some SKU feature changes from wicked MS. Like Unix subsystem, Bitlocker and MUI in Business edition and the full Backup and Shadow copy features, faxing, RDP Server and EFS in Home Premium.

  2. Thank you long for the info.
    i’m still dont get it why ms still try to play in this game?

    it’s time that they let us test it!

  3. Don’t worry, you’re sacrificing yourself for the greater good. Needs of a many outweigh the needs of a one.

  4. when we talk of vista sp1 we always talk of a new kernel on the basis of the server 2008 kernel?

    if so – what advantages does that give?
    i heard higher performance from some ppl? that true?

  5. I didn’t see anything that might fix the incredibly crappy copy, move performance of Vista – do they really think people will want it if it is painfully slow in file transfers – even between hard drives on the same PC copared to XP?

  6. Long,
    You continue to amaze me about how passionate you are about the SP1 update. You do realize this is a SERVICE PACK, right?

    I know you want to get your hands on the bits, but you have to realize they aren’t done yet. Teams all across Microsoft are spending many sleepless nights getting thier bugs fixed, their performance up, and making sure that SP1 works well for customers.

    Patience young jedi. Patience. Keep up the great blog, internally we get a lot of laughs from it. And you’ve spauwn countless debates which means you’re doing something right.

  7. I’m mostly curious about SP1 for this reason: XP SP2 slowed my system down noticeably. Having re-installed windows through the packs several times, it’s really obvious. I just hope Vista SP1 speeds things up a bit, is it not reasonable to expect performance *improvements* from a SP?

    Month 7 now regarding Ultimate Extras? Even a new desktop background a month would show goodwill at least. Very lame.

  8. “Month 7 now regarding Ultimate Extras? Even a new desktop background a month would show goodwill at least. Very lame.”

    very true

    “internally we get a lot of laughs from it.”
    are you working for microsoft? give us some infos bout sp1 🙂 its just a service pack you say, so no problem for you to give us some details.

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  10. @Ian Ceicys: Thanks, it’s not so much because I’m passionate about SP1, and more like I’m passionate about Microsoft and Windows in general.

    I understand everyone’s doing a lot of things to make sure SP1 is great which is also why it is rather important, but I don’t necessarily want to use it as much as I want to understand what’s going on. People should talk about what they are spending countless nights on, the problems, the solutions. It would not only be good insight but better conversations with customers.

  11. Long,
    I’m confused about your interest in SP1. Do you really want to know all about the integration work, and all of the performance tweaking, and all of the detailed discussions around the SP1 code base like what’ s happening with BCRYPT_AES_GMAC_ALGORITHM “AES-GMAC”? Most of the information wouldn’t make sense to you, or to anyone outside of those specific teams, and their specific developers. Additionally, the work isn’t done yet, and features such as BCRYPT_AES_GMAC_ALGORITHM “AES-GMAC” may get pulled or significantly changed.

    And if you want the teams and developers to talk about these specific changes in great detail, do you want SP1 to take even longer to ship? What if Microsoft did let everybody know what’s going on with SP1? And suddenly that adds another 6 months to the development cycle, do you think that the shareholders would be happy? Do you think that the 3rd party companies building their devices around SP1 code changes would be happy? And what if those detials change drastically, then what?

    I understand you want Microsofties to talk about what they doing, but let’s let them talk about the changes when they’re ready.

    Think about surface, what if that team had talked about all of the underlying technologies of surface last year, and hypothetically that would have delayed surface by X amount of time, would that delay(whatever amount of time) have be worth it? Maybe, but I doubt it.

    I understand that you’re passionate about Microsoft, so outside of Vista, what other technologies are you wanting to know more about? What cool technologies (software, or hardare), (ms, and non MS) have you been playing with lately? What do you think Microsoft is cooking up in our secret labs in building 7? More importantly, what do you hope that Microsoft is working on? (look at this:, and think about what’s being worked on for the second that data center comes online in a year or beyond.)

    Keep the conversation going.

  12. @Ian: I want to know everything that would affect users like myself, so that might including performance, features and functionality, user interface and ultimately bug fixes.

    Even though everything above is targeted at a very niche audience with specific technical requirements, I thought it was a good opportunity to explore just how impactful SP1 might be. Of course, I would very much prefer a similar list for user-orientated changes but sadly that’s not available so I’m just making do with what I have.

    I don’t necessarily agree that communication indirectly impacts progress. I know for example each change in Windows requires extensive internal documentation and testing. Of course I don’t expect that type of documentation for every change in SP1. Even a weekly dot-point summary from each ‘team’ about what they’ve contributed to SP1 would be a really insightful.

    Everyone has a right to be scared of delays, but it shouldn’t be the reason not to talk about anything.

    I agree the Surface didn’t exactly blog about their progress years leading up to their launch, but their product is not an open platform depend on by millions of people. If they made Surface SP1, they probably don’t need to tell anyone anything because no one needs to know.

    I understand it is probably hard to see what else I can be interested in besides Vista because that’s all I talk about on this blog, that’s because I want to do one thing and do it right. If I talked about everything I liked no one would read it.

    Some of the things on my mind right now include Office, Windows Mobile, Windows Live, XBOX, Mac OSX, Zune, iPod, iPhone, display technologies, graphics technologies, Wii, Playstation, PC gaming and hybrid cars.

    If building 7 existed, I think they’d be cooking up some space-related technologies since something has to power all those funky time-warping spacecrafts we’re going to have. Say, Windows Genesis?

  13. does the copy/move bug get fixed? 🙂 THIS would be a valuable piece of information for all non-professional-users out here.

  14. I do want to know what all feature, bug fixes, performance improvement and especially stability improvement that will make the Os run more without going belly up.

  15. Ian-

    I would like to have some clear indication that something cool is on its way. Perhaps something that could live up to “WOW”? Whether that’s SP1, or whatever. Just show us the cool stuff MS has. Er…be a bit Apple here and there and give us that shiny object over which we could drool, that glimmer of light past the darkness that is lack of transparency.

    But for something more specific (:)), how about some details on how the Zune is going to live up to its potential? Zune video? Zune games? Anything cool with the Zune expansion port? A portable cam attachment in the works? The podcasting features of the Zune software being enabled (yes, we know that the dialogs for Zune podcasting exist…we’re on to you)? Zune applications (Surface-Zune is cool…now I want to see more).

    Give the consumers in us some cool stuff to look forward to (the dev side has it nice…OMG Orcas and LINQ! I love you guys!).

  16. I’d like to know if SP1 is going to fix the absolutely dreadful sound system that has infected Vista, none of the professional music manufacturers have made Vista drivers because it’s completely useless for audio software.

  17. @Marco and Ballmer
    The copy issue has been fixed for a while (We’ll it worked on my system :):
    Previous to this update I pretty much couldn’t copy anything anywhere, it does however state that it only fixes the network copy issue???

    I’m Pretty sure they have rolled it into one of the following packs also:

    Hope this helps.

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