Microsoft is preparing to release Service Pack 1 of Windows 7.
The software giant posted a software update on Tuesday that applies to versions of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. The update (KB976902) is a prerequisite necessary to successfully install and to remove any service packs to all versions of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
Microsoft fuelled speculation of a January release of SP1 when it released a Service Pack Blocker Tool in November. The software maker typically releases Service Pack Blocker Tool Kits around two months before service packs are released. If Microsoft sticks to its previous ways then SP1 should be available in January 2011. The software giant published a Release Candidate build of Windows 7 in October, marking its final push to RTM. Microsoft has been quiet over whether it has indeed RTM’d SP1. Some reports suggest that build 7601.17514.win7sp1_rtm.101119-1850 is the final SP1 but WinRumors is unable to immediately verify. The Redmond based company generally RTM’s service packs a month before they are released to the web. If Microsoft is planning to release SP1 in January then it will likely be January 18 or January 25 as Microsoft always releases Service Packs on a Tuesday.
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.