First Major Windows 7 Update Coming Early

Dennis Faas's picture

It's being reported that the first Service Pack for Windows 7 (Service Pack 1) will be released before the end of this year. Critics suggest the early release may be an attempt to stimulate purchases among corporate users.

The reports stem mainly from TechARP, a Malaysian hardware site with a strong record of accurately predicting Microsoft release dates. (Source:

Windows 7 Service Pack 1: Cumulative Fixes

A service pack is a collection of security updates, bug fixes and software improvements. It brings together updates which have been issued through Windows Update since the last service pack, or in this case, since Windows 7's initial release.

A service pack serves two functions: firstly, it allows users to patch their systems up to date in 1 simple install. Secondly, it allows users to integrate the service pack into the Windows CD, so that new Windows installations are up to date. This is referred to as "slipstreaming" a Service Pack.

So, why is Microsoft releasing Windows 7 Service Pack 1 so soon?

Some reports say the company is trying to fix some significant technical issues with Windows 7, though this hasn't been confirmed. Either way, it could be good news for Microsoft's bottom line. (Source:

Businesses Adopt Wait-and-See Policy

There is something of a culture among businesses to avoid upgrading to a new edition of Windows, or any other Microsoft software, until it receives its first service pack.

This is based on the theory, which certainly had some justification with previous incarnations of Windows, that it takes until the first service pack until the initial teething troubles can be identified and worked out. It's a bit like avoiding a new car model during its first full year in production.

Supporters of Microsoft say that approach is no longer relevant with Windows 7. That's partly because the automatic updates are now more efficient and bugs are corrected much more quickly, but also because Windows 7 had a particularly extensive testing, both privately and publicly through its beta. This appears to have rid the operating system of many problems before the its official release.

Still, the release of the first Service Pack should prompt more businesses to go ahead with the upgrade. Microsoft is also hoping it will pick up other corporate buyers next month when many companies start a new financial year and free up tech budgets. Thus, it appears reasonable that the company will maintain strong sales of Windows 7 throughout 2010.

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