Is Service Pack Near for Windows 7?

The software giant calls it inaccurate, but a post to a Microsoft blog in Russia may have prematurely announced the availability of Windows 7's first service pack.

According to a posting on a Russian Microsoft blog, the pending first service pack for Windows 7 may not be pending much longer.

Thursday, a Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) TechNet blog, titled "Russian Windows Virtualization Discussion," ran the headline "Released Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2."

"A more detailed description with links to download wait for tomorrow!" the blog post said.

That sent the rumor mill into high gear, with multiple sites stating that SP1 has already begun delivery to OEMs.

"Microsoft has not released SP1 to OEMs at this time, though we are on track for a Q1 release, as we previously announced. The comments made in this blog entry included some inaccuracies," an update to the blog post said on Jan. 14.

In July, Microsoft began beta testing SP1 and said it would release it in the first half of 2011. The company has since then narrowed it down further to the end of the current quarter.

Many IT professionals typically wait until the first service pack for a new version of Windows arrives before adopting it as the standard on new systems -- and sometimes before even pilot deployments. That makes it an important part of both the system's sales and technology lifecycles.

Windows 7 was first delivered to corporate customers shortly after it was "released to manufacturing" (RTM) in July 2009, and was later released to the public on Oct. 22.

In Windows 7's first year of commercial availability, Microsoft claims to have sold 240 million licenses, and sales have continued at a robust clip. However, it needs to build momentum for adoption with corporate customers, and the service pack often plays a big part in that.

In fact, company officials have said on repeated occasions that corporate migration to Windows 7 is "well underway."

As for SP1 -- in the roughly 15 months since its commercial release, some bugs and many security vulnerabilities have been fixed in the RTM code. SP1 will include those.

Since Windows 7 shares most of its code with Windows Server 2008 Release 2 (R2), those updates will also apply to the server's SP. However, the server will also add a pair of technologies meant to prepare systems for the move to the cloud.

SP1 for Windows Server 2008 R2 adds one new feature called Remote FX that provides 3D graphics for remote users. Another feature named Dynamic Memory enables administrators to adjust memory usage without experiencing performance problems.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

Tags: Microsoft, virtualization, Windows 7, Service Pack, SP1

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