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Microsoft planning to ship Windows 7 SP1 in the first half of 2011

Windows 7 users will have to wait a bit longer for the first service pack (SP). According to the newly published Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of Microsoft’s TechNet site, it has been confirmed that “Service Pack 1 [of Windows 7] will be released within the first half of calendar year 2011.

Though according to their announcements, this is too long to wait, but don’t be upset. The statement is not necessarily mean that SP1 will release in 2011. It may ship in 2010. It’s the strategy of Microsoft. They always want to be in the safe side in terms of public sentiment. Since the release of Windows 7, the team is working on SP1 so that it can be dhipped to the customers ASAP. So despite the latest proclamation, it’s still hard to say for sure if SP1 will be a 2010 or a 2011 deliverable.

Last week, Microsoft released a public beta of SP1. (The Windows team released a private beta to selected testers a week or two before this.) Microsoft officials have said repeatedly that there will be no new features in Windows 7 SP1 and two new virtualization features in the server SP1 variant.

In reality, Windows 7 SP1 includes a few pieces of functionality that Microsoft hasn’t made available via Windows Update or through various security patches. Company officials still insist these are “enhancements,” rather than new features.These “enhancements” include things such as support for more third-party federation services; improved HDMI audio device support; and XPS printing fixes.

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