After more than four weeks of Vista SP1 release chatter, Microsoft officially announced today the availability of the Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista.
The list of features offered by SP1 are quite extensive. Owners of USB removable media will be happy to see exFAT, a new file-system that will support larger capacities and larger files (current FAT32 file system limits the largest single file to 4 GB, while FAT16 is limited to 2 GB). This is actually a critical new feature since high-end USB sticks are already available with up to 32 GB. The previous file system does not support single-volume 48 or 64 GB USB sticks.
The multimedia interface was upgraded to DirectX 10.1, which means that you can expect ATI to drum this feature all the way to the bank, especially since Nvidia is launching its GeForce 9800 line-up without the support for this API. All GeForce 9 products are based upon different versions of G92 chip, and this means DX10.0 for GeForce 9200, 9400, 9600 and 9800 products.
The BIOS as we know it is ready to kick the bucket, since SP1 delivers support for EFI and UEFI. This feature provides the foundation for boot disks that can boot the PC without BIOS (but of course, with EFI), and also enables a native installation on GPT formatted disks. Boot, Restart, Standby and Hibernation are supported as well. This should bode well with owners of Macs and future PC computers.