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 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. More »

Microsoft is offering Windows Vista SP1 users the chance to block automatic upgrades to Service Pack 2. In addition to making available Vista SP2 RTM as a standalone download, DVD ISO image, the bits are also released to Windows Update, and subsequently served to Vista SP1 users who have Automatic Updates enabled. With the Windows Service Pack Blocker Tool Kit, Microsoft gives customers, especially businesses, the possibility to temporarily block the delivery of Vista SP2 RTM via Windows Update. Of course that, since Vista SP2 RTM and Windows Server 2008 SP2 RTM are joined at the hip, the Windows Service Pack Blocker Tool Kit is capable of blocking the delivery of the latest released service packs for both Windows client and server.

The temporary period of time for which the tool is capable of blocking Vista SP2 via WU is a year after the general availability deadline. Microsoft released the first wave of Vista SP2 RTM downloads on May 26th, 2009 and, in this context, the end of May 2010 will bring with it the expiration of the restrictions set in place by the blocking solution. Once the Windows Service Pack Blocker Tool Kit expires there will be nothing standing between Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 RTM/SP1 and SP2; with the exception of manually configuring updates not to download and install SP2 automatically, of course. More »

It is tradition for Microsoft to release updates via Automatic Update, including major refreshes such as service packs, following their introduction on Windows Updates and the Download Center. This means that Windows machines with AU enabled would automatically detect and deploy a range of updates distributed by the Redmond giant. At the same time, Microsoft is offering the necessary tools for users to block the delivery of service packs through AU. As of May 27, 2008, this is only valid for Windows Vista SP1 and Windows XP SP3, as far as the Windows operating systems are concerned.

In order to enable consumers, especially in the corporate environments, to get ready for the implementation of the next stage in the evolution of Windows platforms, the Windows Service Pack Blocker Tool permits the systems to ignore service packs on AU for up to a year. The transition period is over for Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2. More »