Windows 7 SP1 RC is now available for download. But before you start rushing to get it installed, you might want to have a look for the following.
- Installing Windows 7 SP1 RC will put your Windows into Evaluation mode and will expire on 30th Nov 2011.
- A watermark which says Evaluation Copy will be added to the bottom right of the screen.
- SP1 Beta needs to be removed before installing SP1 RC. Read here on how to uninstall SP1 Beta.
- The service pack does not contain feature or GUI changes for Windows 7. It is a cumulative of all updates and hotfixes for Windows 7 & Windows Server 2008 R2. It does however include two new feature for the server edition, Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX. For more details, please refer to here.
download: Windows 7 SP1 Release Candidate
Unlike Office 2003 where the service pack bits are over-written onto the Office 2003 installation files, service pack for Office 2007 is added as an update. In the “slipstreamed” Office 2007, service packs are installed after the Office installation. Thus I supposed we can’t really refer it as Office 2007 “slipstream”. Anyway, to integrate the Office 2007 service pack into an installation DVD, simply extract the contents of the Office 2007 installation DVD to a folder (e.g C:\Office 2007). Then, copy the service pack file into C:\ as well.
Use the Run command (located inside Start menu or WinKey+R) and type the following command (we will be using Office 2007 SP2 as example):
C:\office2007sp2-kb953195-fullfile-en-us /extract:C:\Office 2007\Updates
Agree to the Microsoft Software Licensing Terms and the services pack files will be extracted to the updates folder. Use your prefered DVD burning software to create an installation DVD. This method is also applicable for other Office Applications such as Project 2007, Visio 2007.
This is a Beta software as of 06/09/2007.
Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista is no secret. The news has been out many months ago and the beta version of the SP had been available on the Internet for quite a while.
Many people are anticipating that the SP1 will bring huge improvement to Vista (similarly to what SP2 for Windows XP did), in fact there are some who claims that Vista is broken until the release of SP1. Unfortunately (fortunately to me ) this is not the case. SP2 for Windows XP was an exception, due to the technology advancement since after WinXP was launched, new features were created and security was the main concern. As such, Microsoft has to find ways to deliver them (the features and patch) to the end users, thus, SP2 was formed.
Vista SP1 will include all patches that has been released (security, reliability and performance). In addition, the following will also be included in SP1.
- Provides security software vendors a more secure way to communicate with Windows Security Center.
- Includes application programming interfaces (APIs) by which third-party security and malicious software detection applications can work with kernel patch protection on x64 versions of Windows Vista. These APIs help ISVs develop software that extends the functionality of the Windows kernel on x64 computers without disabling or weakening the protection offered by kernel patch protection.
- Improves the security of running RemoteApp programs and desktops by allowing Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) files to be signed. Customers can differentiate user experiences based on publisher identity.
- Adds an Elliptical Curve Cryptography (ECC) pseudo-random number generator (PRNG) to the list of available PRNGs in Windows Vista.
- Enhances BitLocker Drive Encryption (BDE) to offer an additional multifactor authentication method that combines a key protected by the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) with a Startup key stored on a USB storage device and a user-generated personal identification number (PIN).
- Improved reliability and compatibility of Windows Vista when used with newer graphics cards in several specific scenarios and configurations.
- Improved reliability when working with external displays on a laptop.
- Improved Windows Vista reliability in networking configuration scenarios.
- Improved reliability of systems that were upgraded from Windows XP to Windows Vista.
- Increased compatibility with many printer drivers.
- Increased reliability and performance of Windows Vista when entering sleep and resuming from sleep.
- Improves the speed of copying and extracting files.
- Improves the time to become active from Hibernate and Resume modes.
- Improves the performance of domain-joined PCs when operating off the domain; in the current release version of Windows Vista, users would experience long delays when opening the File dialog box.
- Improves battery life by reducing CPU utilization by not redrawing the screen as frequently, on certain computers.
- Improves the logon experience by removing the occasional 10-second delay between pressing CTRL-ALT-DEL and the password prompt displaying.
- Addresses an issue in the current version of Windows Vista that makes browsing network file shares consume significant bandwidth and not perform as fast as expected.
- BitLocker Drive Encryption encrypts extra local volumes. For example, instead of encrypting only drive C, customers can also encrypt drive D, E, and so on.
- Addresses problems with printing to local printers from a Windows® Terminal Services session.
- The Network Diagnostics tool will help customers solve the most common file sharing problems, in addition to the basic problems that it already diagnoses.
- Administrators can control the volumes on which to run Disk Defragmenter.
Emerging Hardware and Standards
- In the future, flash memory storage and consumer devices will use the exFAT file system. Windows Vista SP1 adds support for this file system to Windows Vista.
- The service pack will include support for Secure Digital (SD) Advanced Direct Memory Access (DMA), which will be on compliant SD host controllers soon, to improve transfer performance and decrease CPU utilization.
- x64 PCs can boot using the EFI. Windows Vista currently supports network boot by using Windows Deployment Services for x86, a PC’s basic input/output system (BIOS) for x64 PCs, and EFI for IA-64 PCs. Windows Vista SP1 will add support for network boot by using x64 EFI.
- The service pack will add support for Direct3D 10.1, adding application programming interfaces (APIs) and features that enable 3-D applications, so game developers can better take advantage of a new generation of Direct3D graphics hardware
- The Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP) is a remote access tunneling protocol that will be part of the Routing and Remote Access Service (RRAS) platform. This protocol helps provide full-network virtual private network (VPN) remote access connections without challenges that other protocols face when traversing NATs, Web proxies, and firewalls. Windows Vista SP1 will include support for SSTP.
Those in italics are what I believe most average end users are more interested in (at least I know I am).
Vista SP1 is currently still in beta and subject to changes.
Despite reaching the end of live and the OEM version to be cease supplying to computer manufacturers by the end of this year, Microsoft is still scheduling the next Service Pack (and most likely the last) to be release during 1H 2008.