Microsoft has been keeping up a pretty rapid pace as it gets ready to launch the first Service Pack for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Having posted the first public beta in late August, the company has now announced that the release candidate is available for general download.
This will be the final beta download, meaning that a release to manufacturing (RTM) version shouldn't be too far off. According to Microsoft's schedule, SP1 should be ready and released for both operating systems in the first part of 2011.
As we've noted before, the update for Windows 7 is mostly just a collection of previously released patches and hotfixes and won't actually deliver any new features.
The server version, on the other hand, does come with a few changes on top of all of the usual fixes. Dynamic Memory allows a Microsoft Hyper-V server to dynamically distribute available physical memory between different virtual machines. This should facilitate increased server utilisation and improved workload management. RemoteFX allows for an improved remote-user experience with better access to graphics-intensive programs and wider support for USB peripherals.
The Service Pack 1 Release Candidate for both Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 is available to download now directly from Microsoft. As with the last beta, no registration is required and the updates are available in English, French, German, Spanish and Japanese.