Microsoft has already confirmed officially that the first service pack for Windows 7 will only be made available to customers worldwide in the first half of 2011. Speculation had previously indicated that Windows 7 SP1 would be finalized in the second half of 2010, but certainly by the end of this year, which obviously isn’t the case anymore. A third-party source which has been right with past predictions on Microsoft’s moves now claims that the Redmond company will release Windows 7 SP1 to manufacturing by in the first quarter of 2011.
Generally speaking, for service packs, the RTM and General Availability (GA) deadlines are pretty close, sometimes even coinciding. Following RTM, the software giant will release Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 through the Microsoft Download Center as standalone downloads. Only a few months later will the upgrade made it to Microsoft Update, Windows Update and subsequently to Automatic Updates.
At this point in time, customers running Windows 7 RTM and Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM still have to wait over six months until SP1 will drop. In the eventuality that SP1 will be finalized in Q1 2011, the wait will obviously be shorter, but Microsoft could only start to push Windows 7 SP1 to the public in mid-2011, which would mean approximately a year’s long wait.
While only offering Windows 7 SP1 in 1H 2011, and emphasizing that there will be no new features added to the Windows 7 client, the Redmond company is downplaying the relevancy of the upgrade. At the Worldwide Partner Conference 2010, Tami Reller, Corporate Vice President and CFO, Windows & Windows Live, emphasized yet again the fact that Microsoft sees Windows 7 SP1 as nothing more than a minor update to the platform.
For “SP1 for Windows Server 2008 R2, we will have important virtualization capabilities, specifically RemoteFX as well as dynamic memory,” Reller said. “And for Windows 7, it will support the functionality that we have with Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, but mostly it really is minor updates that come naturally through Windows Update. And so what we're finding is that our business customers, particularly our enterprise business customers, really are not waiting or planning to wait to migrate to Windows 7 for SP1. They're really moving and planning already,” she added.