The Release Candidate for the first major upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 is now available for download.

After the RC Escrow and the full RC Builds were leaked into the wild earlier this month, it’s now Microsoft’s turn to provide early adopters with the actual Windows 7 SP1 RC bits.

As was the case with the previous public development milestone of Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, the Release Candidate Build is offered to testers through TechNet.

Early adopters can either register and get a guided experience when accessing the bits, or skip the registration process and grab the SP1 RC from the Microsoft Download Center.

“We are releasing the Release Candidate (RC) of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) to the public,” revealed Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc.

“This RC signals the last public beta build to be released prior to the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) final release. As previously announced, the only new features added to the SP1 are the Windows Server 2008 R2-related virtualization technologies, Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX.”

This means that customers should not go hunting for new features in Service Pack 1 for the Windows 7 client, since there are none.

Windows 7 SP1 is simply a collection of hotfixes, security updates, optimizations, etc. but does not contain any new features or capabilities for end users.

Windows Server 2008 R2 customers are a tad more lucky since they get Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX, but nothing much beyond that.

“These features will help customers who choose to deploy Windows through Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) by enabling a more scalable and rich user experience,” LeBlanc added.

“While Windows 7 SP1 will enable PCs to take advantage of these server-based features to provide a more scalable and richer VDI experience for end users, there are no additional new features specific to Windows 7.”

Just as it was the case for Windows 7 SP1 Beta released earlier this year, Windows 7 SP1 RC and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 RC are available in English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish.

It’s also important to note that the leaks of Windows 7 SP1 that made their way in the wild were the legitimate releases, as the fully-fledged RC for the service pack is also Build 7601.17105.100929-1730.

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 list:






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