The public beta for the first Microsoft Windows 7 service pack is expected sometime in July, but the software company hasn’t provided a specific release date yet.
The announcement was made during Microsoft’s TechEd Conference in New Orleans, with SP1 in development since March.
Even though it’s not expected to be a major update, this is yet another sign that Windows 7 is a step closer towards widespread industry adoption. Many businesses interested in a new Windows OS will opt to wait until the first service pack has launched to begin adoption, so this SP1 launch could signify a wave of upgrades across the enterprise.
To date, more than 100 million Windows 7 licenses have been sold. Furthermore, other companies plan to deploy Windows 7 prior to SP1, so this latest Microsoft OS is steadily on its way to replace all prior versions of Windows.
“While the new features for Windows Server 2008 R2 benefit Windows 7 by providing a richer [virtual desktop] experience, SP1 will not contain any new features that are specific to Windows 7 itself,” said Microsoft’s Gavriella Schuster in a blog post.
The blog post also noted SP1 is a “combination of updates” that can be found using Windows Update.
I’ve spoken with IT experts in the enterprise sector who say they’ve had positive experiences with Windows 7, especially compared to Windows Vista, but many companies are still pleased with the reliability of Windows XP. However, a handful of people I chatted with said they’re still running Windows XP SP2 — and will continue to wait — until Windows 7 SP1 is released.
In the personal PC market, Windows 7 has passed Vista and is now the No. 2 most used OS in the world. The company has killed off regular support of Windows XP, but still has extended support for security updates and other vital updates for the aging OS.