Windows 7 SP1 expected in January as Service Pack Blocker tool goes live

By Tom Warren, on 12th Nov 10 9:06 pm with Comments Off

Microsoft updated its Windows Service Pack Blocker Tool Kit this week to include Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

The blocker tool, spotted by the folks at Ars Technica, allows businesses to block Service Packs in preparation for when they’re available on Windows Update and Automatic Updates. A number of businesses use the tool to block the automatic update from company machines. The tool works for 12 months after the RTW (release to web) of a service pack. After that, Microsoft pushes out the Service Pack to everyone with Automatic Updates enabled, regardless of any previous blocks.

Microsoft typically releases Service Pack Blocker Tool Kits around two months before service packs are released. If, as Ars Technica suggests, 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 SP1 recently.

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.