Earlier this week, Neowin reported that Service Pack 1 is available as a public beta for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, which would leave most users thinking that SP1 is relatively close to release.
Apparently, this assumption is wrong, with a post from the Windows Team Blog saying that "Windows 7 SP1 will be available in the first half of 2011 through the usual channels." Brandon LeBlanc, Windows Communications Manager on the Windows Client Communications Team said that "For Windows 7, SP1 is simply a combination of updates already available through Windows Update and additional hotfixes based on feedback by our customers and partners."
Brandon reiterates that "Business customers tell us that they are already seeing the benefit of deploying Windows 7, and industry analysts agree that there is no need to wait for SP1" and trumpeted that this month, "Windows 7 [has] nearly 14% share of the global OS market."
SP1 only contains two major new features, which will not affect the majority of users. The first of the two is RemoteFX, a standalone product that requires Windows Server 2008 R2 to be used. RemoteFX allows users to watch high-quality video and interact with 3D applications over a remote desktop session -- this will change the way Virtual Machines are used, as they have had limited display capabilities until now.
The second feature is an update for HyperV in Windows Server 2008 R2 called "Direct Memory". The feature is as simple as it sounds -- it dynamically allocates memory to virtual machines as required and is able to remove memory from virtual machines when others need higher resources.