Windows 7 SP1 RTM is now available to MSDN and TechNet customers.
Microsoft posted its final build of Windows 7 SP1 to MSDN and TechNet customers on Wednesday. Copies of Microsoft’s Windows 7 SP1 RTM update leaked last month to file sharing websites ahead of its release. Microsoft has confirmed 7601.17514.101119-1850 is the final RTM. The software giant will offer the build to the public on February 22 and it is expected to be released to Windows Update shortly afterwards.
Work on Windows 7 SP2 has already begun as early as fall 2010. Microsoft is reportedly planning 132 updates for x86 Windows 7 SP2 and 171 updates for x64 Windows 7 SP2 at the time of writing. Microsoft hasn’t officially started talking about SP2 but expect it to land in the 2012 timeframe.
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.
As of today, over 20% of Internet-connected PCs worldwide are running Windows 7 according to Net Applications. It was an incredibly successful year for Windows 7 in 2010. Microsoft’s success with Windows 7 began before the product was even widely available. Released in October 2009, the operating system has received praise from consumers, businesses and the media. In November 2009, Windows 7 managed to surpass Apple’s Snow Leopard market share in just two weeks. In early February 2010 it was revealed that Windows 7 had reached 10% market share in just three months.
Windows 7 has also driven an uptake of 64-bit computing. According to ChangeBASE research, conducted with senior IT decision makers, more than 65% of businesses hoped to migrate to Windows 7 within 12 months of its release. Over 50% of those migrating will be choosing the 64-bit route. Microsoft confirmed in July that nearly half of all Windows 7 PCs run 64-bit versions. Forrester Research revealed in November that 1 in 10 PCs within North America and European companies are powered by Windows 7.
Windows 7 recently celebrated its first birthday after selling over 240 million licenses in the first year of sales. Microsoft revealed in late January that the software maker has now shipped over 300 million licenses of Windows 7.