Microsoft released the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 installation software feature update just a couple of days ago, and users should make sure to deploy the refresh in order to make sure that installation tasks will go as smooth as possible.

Customers can also check out KB976902, the knowledge base article that is accompanying the update in order to get an idea of what the refresh is all about.

They’re bound not to miss Microsoft’s reference related to service pack deployments, and in this regard, Windows 7 SP1 will undoubtedly come to mind.

“This software update will be a prerequisite to install service packs. Additionally, this update improves reliability when you install or remove Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 updates and service packs,” the Redmond company states. More »

This is why the operating system received an update set up to ensure that there are no issues in Windows 7 RTM that could prevent the integration of SP1 or additional updates from the Redmond company.

A new release of the System Update Readiness Tool went live this week, and is currently available to customers either through Windows Update or as a standalone download via the Microsoft Download Center.

“This tool is being offered because an inconsistency was found in the Windows servicing store which may prevent the successful installation of future updates, service packs, and software. This tool checks your computer for such inconsistencies and tries to resolve issues if found,” Microsoft stated. More »

In the past months I’ve had my fair share of time chatting with members of the IE team, over the phone and face-to-face, but I wasn’t able to meet with John Hrvatin, Lead Program Manager on Windows Internet Explorer, as I needed to be in Berlin at TechEd Europe 2010 earlier this month.

After all, there’s a lot to talk about, especially with Microsoft getting closer and closer to finalizing Internet Explorer 9.

IE9 continues to be in Beta at this point in time, and evolving toward the Release Candidate (RC) with Platform Preview 6 and 7 released since mid-September, the last of which offered to early adopters this week.

Still, I did manage to put some questions together and John was kind enough to provide the answers via email. More »

However, Rich Reynolds, general manager of Windows Commercial Product Marketing at Microsoft did not specify when exactly will Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) be released to manufacturing, which is the milestone when it will also ship to select users close to the company, such as MSDN and TechNet subscribers.

Speculation from various sources indicates that Microsoft might in fact be planning to release Windows 7 SP1 to manufacturing by the end of 2010.

This detail has not been confirmed officially by the software giant, and needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

Still, it would make sense for the Redmond company to sign-off Windows 7 SP1 by the end of 2010. Early events next year, such as the International Consumer Electronics Show 2011 would offer a great opportunity for Microsoft to announce the RTM of Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.

Users need to keep in mind that this is all speculation on my part, and that nothing has been confirmed. More »

Concomitantly with the availability of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Release Candidate (RC), Microsoft also released an update designed to streamline certain scenarios such as the deployment and removal of the upgrade.

Just ahead of the 2010 Professional Developers Conference 2010 (PDC 2010), the Redmond company offered early adopters the next milestone of Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, namely the RC Build.

At the same time, the software giant released the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 installation software feature update.

KB 976902 will be a requirement for the integration of upgrades into both the last Windows client and server platforms. More »