While Service Pack 1 for Windows is right on track for delivery by the end of March 2011, Microsoft is continuously kicking the operating system up a notch.

An illustrative example in this regard is KB 2454826, an update designed to boost the performance of Windows 7’s underlying graphics platform.

According to the Redmond company, in addition to speeding up the UX, the refresh is also designed to touch up the functionality associated with the graphics platform.

The software giant also revealed that enhancements have also been delivered in relation to XPS printing and the Media Foundation.

“This update contains the following new functionality, performance improvements, and solutions to issues: More »

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 »

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 »

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 »