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The first service pack for Microsoft's extremely popular Windows 7 operating system was just announced. It's expected to land late this year, accompanied by the first service pack for Microsoft 's business-minded Windows Server 2008 R2 OS.  (Source: Telegraph UK)
Packs are expected land sometime in Q4

Microsoft today announced that it was preparing to deliver Service Pack 1 for its tremendously popular new operating system, Windows 7, and its business-minded server operating system, Windows Server 2008 R2.

Service packs provide Microsoft with the opportunity to package together bug fixes and security fixes (which have typically been previously delivered piece-wise to consumers over Windows Update).  They also provide a place for Microsoft to deliver new content.  As Microsoft's retail releases come less frequently than those of its chief competitor Apple, Service Packs are crucial to Microsoft's OSs having a healthy lifecycle.

Among the highest profile updates expected for Windows 7 SP1 is the inclusion of USB 3.0 support.  Many manufacturers are already stepping up to the plate and delivering USB 3.0 capable motherboards.  

For Windows Server 2008 R2, the big news is the inclusion of two important virtualization technologies: Dynamic Memory and Remote FX.  Dynamic Memory enhances Microsoft's Hyper-V, allowing it to monitor the memory usage of all the virtual machines running on the host.  The Hyper-V pools all the physically available memory and then divvies it up as necessary.  This should help prevent memory shortages on busy virtual machines and avoid wasting resources on underutilized VMs, all at a minimum administrative expense.

The other technology, Remote FX is used to deliver richer graphics to virtual machines.  It runs on both thick and thin client hosts.  According to Microsoft, it supports "any" screen content, including Silverlight or Flash.

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 share a common code base, so the simultaneous service pack release makes sense.  As to when the release might land, you can look at the history of Windows Vista for clues.  Windows Vista's first service pack was announced at a similar time -- approximately five months after the operating system's release.  It end up being released in beta form in September '07, in RC form in December, and in finalized form in mid-March.  If Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 follow a similar release pattern, the beta could come as early as May, the RC would likely arrive in August, and the final build would air in November.

Interestingly, Windows 7 and it server brethren have been so well received that the service pack may not be as important.  A recent survey by Dimensional Research revealed that 46 percent of information technology administrators said they would 
not wait until SP1's release to install Windows 7.  That's a surprising number, considering admins usually wait until a Windows OS hits SP1.  It's certainly a testimony to the new faith in Windows 7, both in the public and the tech community.



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RE: Release date of SP1
By omnicronx on 3/19/2010 11:42:45 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Although, I don't think it's necessary to wait with Windows 7.
Tell that to your technical department =P..


RE: Release date of SP1
By HrilL on 3/19/2010 1:46:11 PM , Rating: 2
I tested Windows 7 RC and was happy. No problems with our systems so we went live with it as soon as it was released. In the past I would wait for sp1 but with win7 I never felt the need as its a very polished OS.


RE: Release date of SP1
By omnicronx on 3/19/2010 2:11:28 PM , Rating: 2
How big is your company though? Do you have in house software?

Rolling out an new OS on a massive scale is much easier said than done.. Heck my company still has software dependent on IE7 that are commonly used around the world. (Microstrategy for one only works on IE7 or less, while Windows 7 ships with 8).

So yes its far more polished, has much better security and is an all around better user experience, but when that is not going to trump basic required functionality.

My company is waiting for SP1 in particular because they don't want to have to test everything again. I still remember all the trouble XP sp2 caused.. For all intents and purposes its a waste of money, and its not really going to dramatically increase productivity and in the end, your bottom line right away. (now I am sure security experts would not agree, but security experts don't run large companies, and do not have to adhere to investors/stockholders)


RE: Release date of SP1
By omnicronx on 3/19/2010 2:12:04 PM , Rating: 2
Meanwhile, double testing wastes money, which surely affects your bottom line.


RE: Release date of SP1
By redbone75 on 3/19/2010 4:29:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Heck my company still has software dependent on IE7 that are commonly used around the world. (Microstrategy for one only works on IE7 or less, while Windows 7 ships with 8).

Compatibility mode, maybe? I'm interested in knowing if your company actually tried it and if it works or not.


RE: Release date of SP1
By blueeyesm on 3/22/2010 10:08:01 AM , Rating: 2
We've apps where I work that we have tested under IE8 and they will not function properly.

It comes down to the 3rd-party company providing fixes to ensure their products, aged or otherwise, will be 100% compatible.


RE: Release date of SP1
By afkrotch on 3/23/2010 12:40:15 AM , Rating: 2
Compatibility mode. I love those things, cause they never function properly for 100% of everything.


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