The wait is over, folks. If you're not a TechNet subscriber and/or wanted no part of playing around with a non-final release of Service Pack 1 for Windows 7, then today's your day. Microsoft today made good on its promise to deliver SP1 to the general public on February 22, though there's a few things you should know before you go out and grab it.
First of all, this isn't a game-changing release for Windows 7, unlike Vista, which desperately needed its first service pack to iron out performance hampering wrinkles. For Windows 7, this is really a compilation of minor bug fixes and previous updates you might have already installed.
Secondly, you may have to apply an update before moving onto SP1. If you're running at least one of three specific hotfixes -- 983534, 979350, and/or 2406705 -- you'll likely run into an error message when trying to deploy SP1. Details on to sidestep these issues can be found here .
Finally, if you're rocking a previous iteration of SP1, such as a beta or Release Candidate (RC), you'll need to first uninstall before grabbing the final release. There are no build-to-build upgrades in place
All that being said, there's more than one way to get your hands on the update. The easiest is to sit tight and wait for it to be pushed through Windows Update, which should offer the most seamless transition. If you're the impatient type, you should be able to snag SP1 from the Windows Download Center here (later today).