The first service packs for Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7 were made available for all Windows users on February 22.
Many IT professionals consider the first service pack the point when it is safe to upgrade all the company software to a new version of a product, so the official release of these upgrades is seen as being very significant. The SP1 release for Windows 7 does not actually include any new features and it is simply a combination of security updates and hot-fixes for bugs that are already available through Windows Update.
However the SP1 update is still an important event because once a service pack is issued the previous release of the software moves closer to its end of life. In this instance it is the original Windows 7 release.
Michael Silver of Gartner Inc. a Mobile and Client Computing analyst said “Once SP1 ships, there are only 24 months to deploy it before security fixes are discontinued for SP0,” Silver said. “Many organizations (in the US) recently got bitten by the end-of-support for XP SP2 and had to pay Microsoft Custom Support $200,000 to $500,000 for one year - because they never moved to SP3. Therefore, all organizations need to plan to deploy Win7 SP1 and have it done by 24 months after it ships.”
Because SP1 does not bring any significant improvements or enhancements, Microsoft had been telling customers for quite some time that they should not wait for the first service pack before upgrading to Windows 7. At Electronbox we have always encouraged upgrading to Windows 7 from its release date in 2010, a much better operating System than Vista with some very nice innovative enhancements over XP. With this current version of Windows rumoured to be the last available in 32 bit, many with the older single core CPU based machines are (possibly) not going to be able to upgrade to the the next version of Windows not surprisingly called Windows 8. So far the SP1 update seems to be a stable update and appears to have been well tested, but as it contains nothing new there is no reason not to install it.
The market share results are interesting and according to NetMarketShare, an Internet technology statistics website run by Net Applications, Windows 7 accounted for 20% of all operating systems in global usage for December 2010, up 1.18% from November. It is also interesting that Windows XP still had a 56.72% market share in December and the much maligned Windows Vista only had 12.11% from its almost three years of sales as the current OS at the time. There are an estimated one billion computers in use world wide of which 90% run the Windows Operating System in one version or another.
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
The first service pack for Windows Server is also significant, the desktop virtualization users will want Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 as it contains the release of Dynamic Memory. This is Microsoft’s new virtual machine memory management feature, and the VDI remote protocol called RemoteFX.
RemoteFX is essentially a set of Remote Desktop Protocol technologies that deliver videos and graphics to virtual desktops. It's similar to Citrix Systems' HDX technology and VMware's PCoIP.