Thoughts On Today’s Release Of Windows 7 And Server 2008 R2 SP1

Yep, that’s right. Today Service Pack 1 to hit for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. After being available for roughly 1 year and 4 months – one of Microsoft’s most successful operating systems is about to get a major update. With it’s release, you’re going to want to know all of the details about what’s new, where to get it, the best way to get ahold of it and whether it really is worth updating.  If you would like to just grab the installer, go here. For more details, read on. To get the installer package, you’ll need to pass Windows Genuine Advantage Validation.

So, what’s new?
No doubt this new Service Pack is filled with updates , but is there new stuff in it? After looking over many of the numerous blogs and articles, it was clear that this service pack was intended to be mainly a bug and security fix for Windows 7. However, The two key new features of this service pack include “Dynamic Memory” that allows you to increase the memory density of virtual machines and “RemoteFX” which is mainly concerned with virtualizing the Graphics Processing on servers to do more graphically intensive work in places like Remote Desktop.

The installers are quite large, here is a rundown of these sizes of each of them:

Downloadable 32 bit version: 538mb
Downloadable 64bit version: 903mb
Downloadable ISO Disc: 1.9gb
Windows Update: Between 44mb and 96mb

Understandably, Microsoft is requesting that you install this update by way of the “Windows Update” facility in Windows. You’ll want to get the entire package if you are installing on multiple PCs. Installation should take you roughly 30 minutes depending on your computer’s speed.

Is it worth it?
Generally, Service Packs are all previous Windows Updates mashed up into a package containing some new updates. You will find that using the Service Pack 1 update will be a quicker way to get any current computer up-to-date than if you went to Windows Update and downloaded them one at a time. Often, companies are looking for at least the Service Pack 1 milestone  to come before  they start to migrate to a newer operating system.

If you can wait, I suggest you hold off for a few days and keep an eye on the news or search Google for anything new. You’ll hear about any problems that arise, and if any are related to your machine, you’ll save allot of pain by waiting for a fix. The ideal scenario for you would be to test this update in a virtual machine or a non-production computer to get a feel for how it works before you run it somewhere important.

Removing Backup Files
For the first time I can remember, Microsoft offers to let you remove the backup files created by this new service pack. Use the built-in Disk Cleanup utility and look for “Service Pack Backup Files” if you would like to remove them.

So that’s it. Go grab it and let us know if you’ve come across any issues.