Russian Windows enthusiast leak site Wzor.net had earlier today claimed that sources close to Microsoft had tipped them off on the date, but winrumors.com has now confirmed, that Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will finally be made available to download via the web on Tuesday Feb 22nd, following a release to MSDN TechNet customers on the 16th.
Microsoft has yet to publicly announce the RTM milestone, and has declined to comment on the matter to various websites requesting information. Previously the company had only hinted at a release sometime in the first half of 2011 on 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."
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 "Dynamic 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.