Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Shipping February 22

Paul Lilly

In a blog post on Wednesday, Micheal Kleef, Senior Technical Product Manager with the Windows Server and Cloud division, announced the Release of Manufacturing (RTM) of both Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 and Windows 7 SP1. That means the wait for general availability is almost over, and in fact you can expect Microsoft to make SP1 available on Tuesday, February 22. Windows 7 is a much more polished OS out of the box than Vista was, so should you even care?

The answer depends on your expectations. Windows 7 SP1 isn't going to introduce any groundbreaking features, but it does roll all previous updates into a handy bundle, which will make setting up new systems a little bit easier. And of course you can expect a few additional tweaks to improve compatibility, reliability, and performance, though nothing major.

Microsoft seems a bit more excited about Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. This Service Pack will bring with it two new features in Windows Server, including Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX.

"Our first new feature, Dynamic Memory, takes Windows Server’s Hyper-V feature to a whole new level," Kleef explains. "Dynamic Memory lets you increase virtual machine density with the resources you already have—without sacrificing performance or scalability. In our lab testing, with Windows 7 SP1 as the guest operating system in a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) scenario, we have seen a 40% increase in density from Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM to SP1 . We achieved this increase simply by enabling Dynamic Memory."

And as for RemoteFX, Kleef says this a first-to-market technology that lets you virtualize the GPU on the server side for next-generation rich media and 3D user experiences for VDI. It will also make it possible for new ultra-thin client devices to enter the market.

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