Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is quite close to being released to manufacturing, reportedly. This piece of information comes from a third-party source, and was not confirmed by Microsoft in any way.

In fact, while it’s not 100% certain, it appears that Windows 7 SP1 could have already hit the RTM development milestone.

The Redmond company has been extremely quiet on the progress of the Windows 7 SP1 development process, and the evolution from Release Candidate to RTM makes no exception to this rule.

And while there were voices claiming that Windows 7 SP1 would RTM ahead of the end of 2010, the software giant was immovable when it came to refusing to share a timetable with the public. 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 »

Just as it was the case with past upgrades to its Windows client and server platform, following the RTM and GA of Service Pack 1, Microsoft will start to automatically push the bits to Windows 7 RTM and Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM computers.

Customers with Automatic Updates enabled will be automatically upgraded to Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.

Still, the Redmond company is also offering customers the possibility to block the delivery of Service Pack 1 and continue to have AU enabled.

This can be done with help from the Windows Service Pack Blocker Tool Kit. In fact, a new version of the Windows Service Pack Blocker Tool Kit went live on the Microsoft Download Center on November 11, 2010. 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 »

Microsoft is currently working on delivering important updates to the Windows 7 Application Compatibility List. The Redmond company has yet to provide any details as to what it has in stored for the list featuring applications that have been tailored to the latest iteration of the Windows client, or the deadline when the refresh will be made available. Microsoft’s Chris Jackson only promised that the update is coming, explaining why the Windows 7 Application Compatibility List hasn’t been updated to the scheduled the Redmond company promised to keep, approximately once every two weeks.

The team behind the list have “been working hard on adding some pretty important updates. And, of course, those updates have a full disclosure plan, and so I don’t get to talk about them yet. For now, I just wanted you to know that this little task is still seeing some love within Microsoft, and that the team is still hard at work to find new and innovative ways to help reduce the time you spend understanding and addressing app compat as part of your Windows 7 migrations,” Jackson stated. More »