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Is Windows 7 Service Pack Coming in Q4?

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Over the years, it has become conventional wisdom that corporate IT departments will typically wait to begin rolling out a new version of Windows until Microsoft delivers the first service pack.

Now, Malaysian technology enthusiast site TechArp says its sources say that Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is pushing to get Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) out earlier than originally planned.

In the months and years in the run up to the introduction of Windows 7, TechArp racked up a respectable record of accurately nailing down significant dates for Windows 7 as well as dates for service packs for Windows Vista and Windows XP, not to mention Internet Explorer 8.

The site did not pin down what date the original plan had pegged for the release of SP1 other than to say it was on a “22-month development period.” The post didn’t identify a start date for the 22 months, however.

Despite the murky dating, TechArp did try to narrow down when Windows 7 SP1 might, or might not, be available for download.

“Our source says that a mid-2010 release is not possible,” said a post on TechArp’s siteon Monday. “The earliest Microsoft can realistically release Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 is in the last quarter of 2010,” the post continued.

What’s the hurry? That would most likely be a move by Microsoft to convince IT shops to adopt Windows 7 sooner instead of later.

Microsoft found out the hard way with Windows 7’s predecessor, Windows Vista, that many IT shops do indeed hold off on deploying a new Windows version until they are certain the biggest residual bugs have been patched with a service pack. Vista, even after two service packs, never really captured IT shops’ interest.

Even though Windows 7 has gotten high marks from reviewers and analysts, but there has been little proof as yet that it is making major headway with IT organizations.

It’s not the first time in recent months that Microsoft observers have prognosticated about when Windows 7 SP1 will surface.

In early January, Raphael Rivera said on his Within Windows blog that he had found evidencein the Windows 7 registry that he claimed showed the system was being prepared to begin testing SP1.

Still, no one has been able to pin down when testing of the first service pack will start. For comparison, SP1 for Vista came out a year after that system shipped, and SP2 followed a year later.

Microsoft, for its part, isn’t talking.

“Per Microsoft policy, we do not comment on rumors or speculation. We have nothing new to announce at this time and will be in touch should we have more to share,” a company spokesperson said in an e-mail to

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at, the news service of, the network for technology professionals.

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