Just ahead of the delivery of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Release Candidate (RC), Microsoft has offered a refresh designed to kick up notch the Windows Media Center components of Windows 7.

As users know, Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate all contain Windows Media Center, and as such the update applies to all SKUs mentioned above.

Customers running the select editions of Windows 7 with extended media capabilities are now able to either manually download and install the Media Center refresh, or to have it delivered and deployed automatically through Windows Update.

The October 2010 Cumulative Update for Windows Media Center in Windows 7 includes the June 2010 Cumulative Update for Windows Media Center in Windows 7, as well as all other previously released updates for Media Center in Windows Vista’s successor.

This is the third Cumulative Update for Windows Media Center in Windows 7 released by the software giant since the operating system hit general availability over a year ago.

On top of including a set of Windows Media Center updates, the latest refresh is also designed to fix a few additional problems.

Microsoft enumerated the issues that the update resolves:

“- A scheduling performance issue in which the end time or the start time of scheduled recordings may decrease.

– A significant issue in Dr Watson that occurs in some upgrade scenarios. In these scenarios, the Windows Media Center directory is missing or has incorrect permissions. This results in a crash when you try to open Windows Media Center.

– A significant issue in Dr Watson that occurs during a typical database maintenance process. If you use Windows Media Center and add a new file type to the database, Mcupdate.exe may crash.”

Windows 7 customers need only deploy the latest Cumulative Update for Media Center in order to deal with a range of problems that previous updates have fixed in the past.

Cumulative Update for Media Center for Windows 7 (KB2284742)

Cumulative Update for Media Center for Windows 7 x64-based Systems (KB2284742)

Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Release Candidate (RC) Build 7601.17105.100929-1730 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Release Candidate (RC) Build 7601.17105.100929-1730 are available for download here

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