[Update on September 4th, 2009] We are still discussing when to make SQL Server 2008 SP1 available through Automatic Update. At this time, it would be released through Automatic Update in September. 

SQL Server 2008 SP1 started to be deployed through Microsoft Update on April 28th. We are now considering making the update available through Automatic Update in September the future, see here to better understand Automatic Update.

If an update is flagged as an automatic update (AU) the logic will honor the Windows Update settings for deploying the update.  This means, you do not need to manually scan for updates through the Windows Update web page or Control Pane and you let Windows control the installation.

Here are the Windows (Vista) settings that will tell an AU update how to behave:

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We would like to make this change to easily bring SQL Server 2008 instances up to the latest Service Pack.

Additionally, SQL Server 2008 SP1 is required when running SQL Server 2008 on a Windows 7 system.