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Windows 7 SP1 beta leaks to the web

The highly anticipated Windows 7 SP1 has leaked to the web.  The new service pack provides many updates to the platform but does not introduce any drastic changes or new features.  The impact of the service pack is expected to be minimal as the service pack is relatively light compared to some service packs in the past.  The build number for this leak is 7601.16562.100603-1800

According to Ngohq.com, “The impact of SP1 on the Windows 7 client operating system is considered to be minimal. Included changes are expected to address minor usability issues in specific scenarios, as outlined in this document. Microsoft recommends that organizations do not need to wait for SP1 to begin receiving the value of Windows 7 today as we don’t anticipate the SP1 for Windows 7 to be substantial.”

Service pack 1 represents a milestone for not only Microsoft but many IT departments around the world.  It is general policy to not update an operating system until the first service pack is out.  As IT departments are fundamentally cautious, they will not adopt a new operating system until the first major update is completed to remove the intial bugs.  

Microsoft revealed its plans for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 earlier this month at its annual Tech-Ed conference. Windows 7 SP1 will include the usual hotfix patches and new virtualization tools in SP1 will help Windows Server 2008 R2 users prepare for cloud computing. 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.

In April this year an early copy of Windows 7 SP1 surfaced on the Internet. The build leaked to file sharing sites. SP1 is also rumoured to include USB 3.0 support and enhanced Bluetooth/Wi-Fi stacks but Microsoft has not yet confirmed this. Microsoft is planning to release a public beta of Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 by the end of July.

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