Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Beta Downloads
Microsoft has released the official beta version of Windows 7 SP1 at last publicly. Users who want to download and install the beta version of SP1 are first needed to register at the Evaluation Center. During registration remember to select IT or any developer related occupation to be able to download Windows 7 Service Pack 1. SP1 is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows 7, and are available in English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish language.
This service pack is also offered via Windows Update and in standard ISO image format, which is around 1.2 GB in size and required to be burned to a DVD first to use it.
Note: Users will be reminded beginning March 30, 2011 about the expiration of SP1 beta. The beta will expire on June 30, 2011. After the expiration, users will have to then either upgrade to a newer build or uninstall and return to the RTM build by that time. Please read the FAQ over at Microsoft which answers common questions related to SP1.
Executing the download enables the system to receive the Service Pack 1 Beta via Windows Update. It can take a while before the update shows in Windows Update. Windows 7 users who chooses to install SP1 beta via Windows Update will notice that the download size is between 45 MB to 600 MB, which is very less when compared to the standard ISO image size.
Free documentation provided by Microsoft that will come handy when deploying the SP1 beta:
- Deployment Guide for Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1 and Windows 7 with SP1
- Documentation for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 Beta (KB976932)
Windows 7 Service Pack 1 beta does not add new features to the operating system. It will consist of updates that are already available through Microsoft Windows Update and some more hotfixes based on the feedback provided by the customers and partners. Hence, we will recommend users not to install the SP1 beta and wait until the final service pack 1 is released before upgrading.
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 beta, however, consists of two new features:
Dynamic memory: An enhancement to Hyper-V in R2. It allows IT administrators to pool all the memory available on a physical host and dynamically distribute it to virtual machines running on that host as necessary. That means based on changes in workload, VM will be able to receive new memory allocations without a service interruption.
RemoteFX: RemoteFX describes a set of rich media capabilities that are available to customers using the Remote Desktop Services platform to deploy a virtual machine- or session-based remote desktop infrastructure. Specifically, RemoteFX enhances the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) in Remote Desktop Services, so that remote workers can access any type of application or screen content, including rich media and 3D applications, improving end-user productivity.