Get Ready – Windows Server 2008 R2 / Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is almost here!

After a very super long wait of almost one year, at the beginning of February 2011, Microsoft has announced the availability of Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1).

Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 includes previous improvements delivered via Windows Update and addresses feedback from customers. Currently, there are 625 hotfixes and updates. Many of these updates are available to the public on the Microsoft Download Center and Windows Update, while others are only available to specific customers or partners.  It is standard practice to include all of these updates in a Service Pack and as such they are included in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1.
These changes, spanning several key areas, fall into three categories:

  • Changes to simplify administrative and management tasks
  • Ongoing improvements to overall quality: security, reliability, and performance
  • Support for emerging technologies and standards

Two new features in Windows Server SP1, Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX, enable sophisticated desktop virtualization capabilities. These features build on the comprehensive virtualization functionality already included in the Windows Server operating system. I will blog about these features in upcoming articles, so stay tuned.
There are additional features and improvements which include Enhancements to scalability and high availability when using DirectAccess, Support for Managed Service Accounts (MSAs) in secure branch office scenarios, Support for increased volume of authentication traffic on domain controllers connected to high-latency networks, Enhancements to Failover Clustering with Storage and Higher Virtual Processor to Logical Processor Ratios.
As of Windows 7, from what I understand, the impact of SP1 on the Windows 7 client operating system is considered to be minimal.


SP1 for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 is RTM and was made available for OEM partners on the 9th of February.
On February 16th Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 will be available for MSDN and TechNet Subscribers as well as Volume License customers.
On February 22nd, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 will become generally available to download via the Microsoft Download Center and available on Windows Update. It will also come pre-installed on new servers ordered.

Download Link

Most likely, download link will be:
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

Service Pack 1 size

In order to make the improvements detailed in this document, various individual files and components have been updated. Also, the language-neutral design of Windows necessitates that the service pack be able to update any possible combination of the basic languages supported by Windows 7 with a single installer, so language files for the 36 basic languages will be included in the standalone installer.
For System Administrators, there is a stand-alone installation package available, sizing 297 MB to 535 MB, depending on the system architecture.
However, most home and small business users will receive SP1 through Windows Update. Windows Update utilizes an efficient transfer mechanism to download only the bytes that are needed, resulting in a download that will range in size from 23 MB to 51 MB depending on the system architecture.

Support for Exchange Servers

The following versions of Exchange are supported to run on Windows 2008 R2 SP1 (the RTM version of SP1):

  • Exchange 2010 SP1
  • Exchange 2010 RTM
  • Exchange 2007 SP3

Please note that Exchange 2007 was not supported on Windows 2008 R2 at all, before Exchange 2007 SP3 release.

What do I do with older beta and RC versions of SP1?

Older RC versions will stop running on November 30, 2011. You will have to uninstall the Service Pack or do a clean install of Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

More info

Download details: Documentation for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1  (KB976932)
Information about Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and for Windows Server 2008 R2
As noted, stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.