Mark this one down in the “master of the obvious” for 2011.
Several reports on Wednesday suggest that Microsoft is working on SP2 of Windows 7. In other news, Apple is working on iPad 3 and iPhone 6 too. The reports are based on Russian warez site Wzor who published details of post SP1 fixes that will be considered for inclusion in Windows 7 SP2. The site claims that work on Windows 7 SP2 began in the fall of 2010, shortly before Microsoft finalized Service Pack 1. Obvious? Yes. News? No.
Microsoft is reportedly planning 132 updates for x86 Windows 7 SP2 and 171 updates for x64 Windows 7 SP2. These numbers will obviously change closer to the time of SP2 readiness. “News” of SP2 being readied is hardly surprising. The company regularly starts work on the next versions of its products shortly before the current iterations are finalized. It’s standard stuff across the software industry.
Microsoft officials confirmed Windows 7 SP1 had Released to Manufacturing earlier this month. The software giant then edited a blog post to remove references to the 7601.17514.101119-1850 RTM build and confirmed that some details of the post were inaccurate. The post was updated with the following disclaimer:
“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.”
According to sources close to the matter, Microsoft has sent out internal announcements to mark the RTM of Windows 7 SP1. Russian site Wzor confirmed the RTM too and has leaked several versions of Windows 7 SP1 for various languages.
At this time it’s not clear why the company is refusing to confirm the RTM milestone publicly. WinRumors asked Microsoft officials multiple times to confirm whether Microsoft had reached the RTM milestone for Windows 7 SP1 but company officials would only reply with “Microsoft has not released SP1 to OEMs at this time.” As always, we’d advise against installing leaked bits on production machines but at this time we’re confident build 7601.17514.101119-1850 is the final RTM.
SP1 will include RemoteFX which provides rich 3-D graphical experience for remote users. The service pack also will include a series of incremental updates, previously released on Windows Update for both Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.
RemoteFX is a new enhancement to RDP’s graphical remoting capabilities. The idea behind RemoteFX is to allow for a full remote experiences including multiple displays, Aero and multimedia streaming to all types of client devices including low cost thin clients. RemoteFX achieves this by using a technique known as host-based rendering. This technique allows for the final screen image to be rendered locally on the remote PC after being compressed and sent down to that remote host. The enhancements are expected to greatly improve video streaming across remote sessions which is currently one of the major drawbacks of virtualized computing.
Windows 7 recently celebrated its first birthday after selling over 240 million licenses in the first year of sales. Microsoft officials have previously promised that SP1 will be available by March 31, 2011.