Just as scheduled, and less than two weeks after the release-to-manufacturing date, Microsoft has unleashed its first service pack for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 upon the general public. The standalone installer package, which weighs in at an elephantine 1,953.3MB, is available now from Microsoft's Download Center.
As I pointed out earlier this month, Windows 7 SP1 doesn't bring a whole lot to the table beside the collection of patches and updates released up to this point. However, there is support for Sandy Bridge's Advanced Vector Extensions, and folks running Windows 7 as a client OS in a virtual machine under Windows Server 2008 R2 should be able to use RemoteFX and Dynamic Memory.
Microsoft offers a few tips to folks upgrading in this blog post:
- Users are advised to install the service pack through Windows Update rather than grabbing the installer from the Microsoft Download Center. Windows Update should "provide the best installation experience."
- Naturally, Microsoft suggests that users back up their computers before updating. You never know what might happen during a major OS update, after all...
- Users should check they've got the latest drivers for their hardware.
- Finally, from the "no duh" department, Microsoft suggests running a virus scan before installing the service pack. That's probably good advice even if you're not about to install a major OS update.
I just ran Windows Update, and Service Pack 1 is indeed showing up—but as a much smaller download than the file on Microsoft's Download Center. The reported size is "73.6 MB - 892.6 MB." Those of us with bandwidth quotas will no doubt appreciate that option.