Microsoft Windows 7 SP1: Coming in early 2011

Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 coming too

Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 coming too

The first service pack (SP1) for Windows 7 will emerge in the first half of 2011 according to Microsoft.

SP1 for Windows Server 2008 R2 will also be released in the same timeframe, according to the company's TechNet Evaluation Center website.

The Windows 7 SP1 will include updates based on those delivered by the Windows Update online service since the OS's launch last October, as well as additional tweaks based on customer feedback.

Windows 7 SP1 coming in 2011

Windows 7 users will be able to get their hands on the first service pack in the first half of 2011
(Photo credit: Seth Rosenblatt/CNET)

The service pack for Windows Server 2008 R2 will focus on improvements to the virtual desktop infrastructure technology.

Microsoft announced the availability of the public beta versions of the first service packs for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 earlier this month at its Worldwide Partner Conference.

IT professionals wanting to use the SP1 beta need to be running the release-to-manufacturing version of Windows 7 or the Windows Server 2008 R2 build 7600 and can download it from the Springboard Series on TechNet.

The beta versions will stop working on 30 June 2011 although users will be reminded of this on 30 March. Those who download the beta will need to uninstall it before moving to the final version.

The company recently said it would extend the period during which customers could downgrade machines pre-installed with Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate to Windows XP or Vista.

Organisations will be able to do this for the lifetime of the machine, meaning they can upgrade to Windows 7 when they feel ready.

According to Microsoft, Windows 7 was installed on one in 10 of the world's PCs - with more than 100 million licences sold - six months after its October release; while 150 million licences for the operating system had been sold by June 2010.

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