Microsoft this week quietly issued public versions of two Windows Vista software fixes which dramatically improve the reliability and performance of the company's latest OS release. News of the fixes came last week after the software giant inadvertently issued them to its public Web site, but this week's release is the real deal.

The fixes, both of which come in separate versions for 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) versions of Vista, address some of the common complaints that users have had since the OS went on sale in January. One fix addresses performance issues, especially for large file copy and move operations. The other improves Vista's compatibility and reliability in a variety of situations. Both are strongly recommended for all Vista users, and Microsoft has rated them both as "important."

Contrary to rumors floating around the Internet, these fixes have absolutely nothing to do with Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1), which Microsoft plans to ship in early 2008. Though the fixes are not currently available on Windows Update, you can download the fixes manually from the Microsoft Web site:

Windows Vista compatibility and reliability fix KB938194 (x86)
Windows Vista compatibility and reliability fix KB938194 (x64)

Windows Vista performance and reliability fix KB938979 (x86)
Windows Vista performance and reliability fix KB938979 (x64)