In case you missed Brandon's post on Monday (US Pacific Time), the public beta is now available for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1…

Today, we announced at our annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) the availability of the public beta for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1). As Gavriella Schuster and I have mentioned in previous blogs, SP1 for Windows 7 does not contain any new features specific to Windows 7. However, the new features in SP1 for Windows Server 2008 R2 benefit Windows 7 by providing a richer Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) experience. For Windows 7, SP1 is simply a combination of updates already available through Windows Update and additional hotfixes based on feedback by our customers and partners. For more information on Windows 7 SP1 and new features for Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, I recommend reading this blog post from the Windows Server Division Weblog.

If you are an IT Professional interested in testing Windows 7 SP1, you can download the public beta via the Springboard Series on TechNet where you will find the download as well as other key deployment and support tools. For everyone else, Windows 7 SP1 will be available in the first half of 2011 through the usual channels.

Overview of Service Pack 1

Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 SP1 is a set of updates and fixes for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 that addresses feedback from our customers (in addition to the improvements that are delivered to users through Windows Update). In addition to including previously released updates, SP1 focuses on specific reliability and performance issues, support for new types of hardware, and support for a few emerging technology standards. Note that although SP1 is not intended to be a vehicle for releasing new features, some existing features do gain enhanced functionality through SP1. For more information about SP1 generally, see the following Microsoft TechNet articles:

Currently, no critical issues that require you to take corrective action either before or immediately after installation have been reported or discovered in testing. Release Notes documents are continuously updated, so if any such issues are discovered or reported, they will be available at the following locations:

For further details on specific features, see the documents linked from the relevant sections later in this document.

Deployment Guide for Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1 and Windows 7 with SP1

This guide is for IT administrators who are deploying Windows Server® 2008 R2 or Windows® 7 with Service Pack 1 (SP1). This document includes technical information, procedures, and recommendations for installing SP1 in a business or corporate environment. Although this guide includes some basic operating system information, we assume that you already have a working knowledge of Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7, and update installations.

For more information about deployment, see the following Microsoft resources:

Nick

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