As expected, Microsoft have made the beta of the 1st Service Pack for Windows 7 & Server 2008 R2 available after the kick off of the Worldwide Partner Conference.
You can grab the download here:
although it does say:
“This early release of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 Beta is not available for home users. The SP1 Beta does not provide new end-user features, and installation is not supported by Microsoft.”
It’s currently available in English, French, German, Spanish & Japanese.
Windows 7 is, by far, the best Operating System Microsoft have produced but we all know it isn’t perfect…and so do Microsoft. They have announced that Service Pack 1 will be available as a public beta next month (July), not just for Windows 7 but also Windows Server 2008 R2.
For server it will bring RemoteFX (VDI multimedia performance) and Dynamic Memory Allocation; for the desktop it is really just a collection of fixes, many/most of which have already been delivered via Windows Update.
It’s real use is going be moving people off XP, something which many companies are still reluctant to do. The “accepted wisdom” is not to deploy a new MS OS until the first service pack has been released and, in times gone by, this was generally sound practice…as Vista proved 😉 However Windows 7 has always been stable…even as a beta, so a lot of people are missing out on the dozens of benefits it brings,for no real reason. Once this milestone has officially been reached I’ll be very interested to see its effect on corporate buying strategies.
OEM licences (the ones that come pre installed on new pcs/laptops) can currently be downgraded to Vista or XP, and many people are still choosing to drop down to XP. However:
“Can I downgrade my OEM version of Windows 7 Professional to XP Professional?
For a limited time of 18 months after the general availability of Windows 7 or the release of a Windows 7 Service Pack, whichever is earlier , the OEM license of Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate will include downgrade rights to Windows XP Professional. After that period the OEM license will enable downgradeable to Windows Vista Business.”
That excerpt from the “Microsoft Downgrade Rights Chart” shows that, very soon; downgrading to Windows XP Pro will only be available to Volume Licensing customers.
I believe that this will be the push most people need to stop clinging to XP and make the move to the 21st century, so this will drive Windows 7 usage. If not, and there are people who insist on downgrading then it will drive adoption of Volume Licensing and all the extras and benefits that brings.
All in all, pretty big changes that will have a positive effect for customers, resellers & Microsoft.