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Where the heck is SP1 for Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2?

UPDATE! 2/09/2011

It sounds like Microsoft is finally close to announcing RTM for both service packs soon, with MSDN availability set for Feb. 16, with a Feb. 22 release date for the Web.


320 days. That’s how long it’s been since news first broke of the initial service packs for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Yet while general availability was expected for early Q1, January has come and gone with SP1 still officially under wraps.

So what’s going on? Back on January 14, a Russian Microsoft blog posted that both service packs had been shipped to OEMs, leading many to believe that a release to MSDN was imminent. Not long after the news spread like wildfire, the same Russian site posted an update stating that SP1 was in fact not released to OEMs, and that the original post included some “inaccuracies”. (Amusingly, the retraction is the only part of the entry that’s in English.)

WinRumors later reported that Microsoft had announced internally the release to manufacturing (RTM) of both service packs, and that various unofficial versions had been leaked. But company reps continued to deny that either SP had been sent to OEMs, nor would they confirm when they’d be available (only saying that the releases are still on track for Q1). Somewhat ironically, WinRumors also reported soon after that Microsoft had been working on Windows 7 SP2 for months now, all while continuing to sit on SP1. And to add to the confusion, tech writer Paul Thurrott posted recently that Microsoft released both service packs in “early February 2011” – but he wrote it on January 31. No doubt Thurrott’s sources are sound and SP1 will be here any day now, but official word hasn’t reached the interwebs just yet.

Of course, the length of time we’re seeing between OS release and SP1 is not out of the ordinary; the first service pack for Windows Vista came nearly 14 months after the system first shipped. But it certainly feels like it’s taken a while, seeing as Microsoft first detailed SP1 back in March, followed by initial beta testing in July.

Clearly both service packs will be here soon, even if we don’t know exactly when that will be. When the day comes, it will likely have a greater affect on Windows 7 migrations across organizations than on Windows Server 2008 R2. The desktop OS is already much more popular than its predecessor Vista, and many companies are anxious to make the move off the continuously less supported Windows XP.

As consultant and author Jonathan Hassell noted in a December podcast, R2 was really the service pack for Windows 2008 anyway, and it’s already been popularly deployed since its launch in October 2009. But while the Windows 7 SP will consist primarily of the usual rollups and bug fixes (as well as an RDP client to support RemoteFX), it’s the R2 service pack that brings with it the much talked-about Dynamic Memory feature for Hyper-V.

But regardless of all that, the waiting game continues for now. 320 days and counting.

For more information on service pack releases from Microsoft, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, visit

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