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.
It also appears that when Reynolds said that Windows 7 SP1 RTM availability will happen in the first quarter of 2011 (Q1), meaning no later than March 31st, he actually meant March.
Some rumors reveal that SP1 RTM could be offered to customers running Windows 7 RTM in the first half of March 2011.
Microsoft recently launched Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) which continues to be available for download.
The RC signals the fact that the Redmond company is extremely close to RTM. In fact, it is also the last public development milestone of the service pack before the RTM Build, although the software giant will continue to put together new interim Builds.
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: