Owen Thomas wrote an article for the Business 2.0 secton of CNNMoney.com on December 15,2006 that made some inaccurate claims about SQL Express compatibility with the upcomming Windows Vista operating system. Mr. Thomas wrote that you "can't run the current version of SQL Server" on Windows Vista. This is not true, SQL Express SP1 is fully supported on Windows Vista.

We have documented this level of support at a number of locations on the Microsoft web site, including the System Requirements page and in our 'SQL on Vista' FAQ page. The fourth Q/A pair on the page states:

Q. What release of SQL Server 2005 will run on Windows Vista?

SQL Server 2005 Express Edition with Service Pack 1 will run on Windows Vista but has known issues with User Access Control. For all other editions of SQL Server 2005, Service Pack 2 will be required for Windows Vista and Windows Server "Longhorn" support when those products are released.


It is true that there is a known issue related to how Vista User Account Control impacts the ability to connect to a default installation of SQL Express SP1, but I've documented the way to work around that problem in here. (For most deployed application this issue will not be a problem as they already create explicit Logins to access the database rather than rely on the default Logins. See the post for more information.) I've also discussed how the installation process in SQL Express SP2 has been modified to help manage UAC in this post.

Just to reiterate...

SQL Express SP1 will run on Windows Vista.

Microsoft supports customers running SQL Express SP1 on Windows Vista.

If you have questions about running SQL Express on Windows Vista you should feel free to post a question in the SQL Express forum or to contact me through the e-mail link in this blog.

Mike Wachal
SQL Express team