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ED#115 : Microsoft Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Roadmap Rev. 2.3
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ED#115 : Microsoft Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Roadmap

As successful as Windows 7 has been, everyone has been wondering when Microsoft will release Service Pack 1 for Windows 7. In fact, when Microsoft intends to release Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is of great interest to many corporations which make it a point to migrate to a new Microsoft operating system only after the first service pack is issued.

Our sources claim that Microsoft initially planned a long 22 month development period for Windows 7 Service Pack 1. Then the issue of a few serious bugs that would adversely affect performance in certain scenarios cropped up. Microsoft has fixed some of them via patches and have the others in various stages (alpha, beta, etc.) of testing. But these bugs made them push the SP1 deadline forward.

Right now, Microsoft doesn't have an exact date for the release of Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 that we know of, but our source says that a mid-2010 release is not possible. The earliest Microsoft can realistically release Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 is in the last quarter of 2010. Some projections are being bandied about - September, October, etc. but it's too early at this point of time to actually pinpoint the month.

If you are already using Windows 7, don't worry too much about Service Pack 1. Microsoft has already released and will continue releasing bug fixes and updates via Windows Update. Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 will merely be, for most part, a convenient compilation of these bug fixes and updates.

Update @ March 30 : Microsoft is attempting to wean us off our obsession with Service Pack 1 for Windows, declaring that it will consist mostly of "minor updates, among which are previous updates that are already delivered through Windows Update." and that the only new feature would be "an updated Remote Desktop client that takes advantage of RemoteFX introduced in the server-side with SP1 for Windows Server 2008 R2."

However, we were made aware that Service Pack 1 will include some performance fixes for features like BitLocker Drive Encryption as well as other undisclosed "storage-related" performance issues. Some of these bug fixes have already been released, but the rest are scheduled to be released in Service Pack 1.

No matter what Microsoft says, Service Pack 1 will remain an important milestone for many users, especially system administrators and companies, because it will contain fixes not released via Windows Update. Otherwise, those who have kept their operating systems updated will have no need to install Service Pack 1 when it is released.

In their defense though, Windows 7 is the most polished operating system Microsoft has ever released. Even without Service Pack 1, it is already more stable and more reliable than Windows XP SP3 or Windows Vista SP2. That fact will not change even if Microsoft is late in delivering Service Pack 1.

Update @ July 19 : Microsoft has made available the beta version of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1. This beta release is available in five languages - English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish. If you are interested in testing it, you can download it here.

This beta release is slightly delayed from what we understand. Microsoft usually takes more than 6 months to transition from a beta release to a final release. In other words, Windows 7 Service Pack 1 will not be out by the end of this year. It is now scheduled to be released only in the first half of 2011, most likely in the first quarter if everything goes smoothly. The roadmap henceforth will be determined by the success of this beta test.

Update @ October 27 : This is just in - Microsoft has just announced the public availability of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Release Candidate (RC)! This is one of the final steps towards the RTM (Release To Manufacturing) build. Service Pack 1 will also include two new features for Windows Server 2008 R2 :

  • Dynamic Memory - it allows Hyper-V administrators pool available memory on a physical host and dynamically distribute it to any virtual machine(s) running on that host.

  • RemoteFX - it lets Windows Server 2008 R2 administrators provide a rich end user desktop virtualization experience by delivering vivid content, independent of any graphics stack, to server-hosted virtual and session-based desktops.

For Windows 7 per se, Service Pack 1 consists mainly of updates that have already been released.

To download Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Release Candidate (RC), click here! Do note that the entire download weighs in just under 2 GB.

Update @ January 19 : Microsoft Windows 7 Service Pack 1 has gone gold! Microsoft released this build to manufacturing yesterday, January 18, 2011. Here are the details of the final RTM build :

Service Pack 1 (32-bit)

Build : 7601.17514.101119-1850
File : Windows6.1-KB976932-X86.exe

Size : 563,934,504 bytes
SHA-1 : C3516BC5C9E69FEE6D9AC4F981F5B95977A8A2FA
MD5 : 4BF28FC00D86C936C89E2D91EF46758B
CRC : 5EB0FA87

Service Pack 1 (64-bit)

Build : 7601.17514.101119-1850
File : Windows6.1-KB976932-X64.exe

Size : 947,070,088 bytes
SHA-1 : 74865EF2562006E51D7F9333B4A8D45B7A749DAB
MD5 : 28D3932F714BF71D78E75D36AA2E0FB8
CRC : 068C79C6

The first wave will support the following 36 languages : Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese-Hong Kong SAR, Chinese-Simplified, Chinese-Taiwan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese-Brazil, Portuguese-Portugal, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, and Ukrainian.

As we write this, the warez group WZ ZUKO has started distributing this build at various Bittorrent sites. However, if you can wait a while, we expect Microsoft to release to web (RTW) this build on February 22, 2011. MSDN subscribers should be able to obtain their copies online during the week of February 15.

Update @ January 21 : We added details of the 64-bit version of Service Pack 1, as well as clarified the estimated date of release to web. Please take a look at the updates above.

Update @ February 11 : We updated the estimated date of release to web and MSDN subscribers (courtesy of noel_pg3 and Softpedia). Please take a look at the updates above.

Update @ February 22 : Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 is out! You can download it directly from Microsoft, if it hasn't appeared on your Windows Update yet.

PS. We will update this article as and when we get more concrete details on the Windows 7 Service Pack 1 roadmap.

 

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Questions & Comments

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Date Revision Revision History

08-03-2010

1.0

Initial Release.

30-03-2010

1.1

Added some information on what's included in SP1.

19-07-2010

1.2

Added new information on on SP1 beta and the future roadmap.

27-10-2010

1.3

Added details of Windows 7 SP1 Release Candidate.

19-01-2011

2.0

Added details of the Windows 7 SP1 RTM build.

21-01-2011

2.1

Added details of the 64-bit version of Windows 7 SP1 RTM.
Clarified the estimated date of release to web.

10-02-2011

2.2

Updated the RTW (release to web) date of Windows 7 Service Pack 1.
Added the date of release to MSDN subscribers.

22-02-2011

2.3

Updated the RTW (release to web) date of Windows 7 Service Pack 1.

 
   
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