Microsoft announced on Monday that the first Windows 7 Service Pack 1 public beta is now available.
Speaking at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, Corporate Vice President of Windows & Windows Live – Tami Reller announced the public beta. Microsoft revealed its plans for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 last month at its annual Tech-Ed conference. Windows 7 SP1 will include the usual hotfix patches and new virtualization tools in SP1 will help Windows Server 2008 R2 users prepare for cloud computing. SP1 will include RemoteFX which provides rich 3-D graphical experience for remote users. The service pack also will include a series of incremental updates, previously released on Windows Update for both Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.
RemoteFX is a new enhancement to RDP’s graphical remoting capabilities. The idea behind RemoteFX is to allow for a full remote experiences including multiple displays, Aero and multimedia streaming to all types of client devices including low cost thin clients. RemoteFX achieves this by using a technique known as host-based rendering. This technique allows for the final screen image to be rendered locally on the remote PC after being compressed and sent down to that remote host. The enhancements are expected to greatly improve video streaming across remote sessions which is currently one of the major drawbacks of virtualized computing.
In April this year a build of SP1 surfaced on the Internet. The build leaked to file sharing sites. SP1 is also rumored to include USB 3.0 support and enhanced Bluetooth/Wi-Fi stacks but Microsoft has not yet confirmed this.
Microsoft released a beta build of Windows 7 to testers earlier this month. Weighing in at 1.22GB the build was compiled on June 3 with the number 7601.16562.100603-1800. Microsoft released the public beta on its TechNet Evaluation Center page.
As most of you know, Windows 7 is expected to hit technet and MSDN by August 6th to a much anticipated welcome. However, this particlar issue looks strangely out of place and makes you wonder how exactly this passed through validation:
- Run an elevated CMD prompt
- Run CHKDSK <drive letter:> /r
- With task manager open, you should see your memory quickly gobbled away in the chkdsk.exe process until it either stops at or around 90% or it maxes completely out and crashes the computer.
I was told that this is by design in Windows 7 because the OS is capable and uses more memory. According to my source, because they intended to speed up chkdsk , they did so through using more memory. However, it could be a bug somewhere in OS or a driver bug but seeing as it happens across a wide range of setups, it doesn’t seem to be 3rd party related. This is the information I have been told by my MS contact. I can also verify this issue goes all the way back to Build 7201.
Without further adieu, Exhibit A:
So as Microsoft nears the end of development for Windows 7 we are now at the magical RTM build of 7600. Last week build 7600.16384 leaked and many assumed it was the final RTM Build that was to be signed off as gold and final. After talking to a few contacts within the program and developers, they gladly pointed out that it is NOT the RTM build. As some remember Windows Vista did a very similar trick during its RTM phase where there were a number of complied builds as ‘6000′. Ultimately it was settled that 16386 would be the build MS would send to manufacturing.
There are a number of sites however claiming that July 13th was the sign off date which was not necessarily true. Instead it was noted that it would be THIS month not a specific date. So as this has come to pass, another build: 7600.16385 has leaked out from a Chinese source.
Hopefully in the next few days we’ll know more but as of right now there is not a definitive RTM build that is gold.
In the light of the recent news about the SKUs for Windows 7 which will consist of Starter, Home Premium, Professional,
and Ultimate. Microsoft has also decided to do away with the Ultimate Extras for Windows 7. Because the lack of notable
features that Ultimate Extras brought to Windows Vista and with the added criticism they made the right choice in my opinion. The features brought by the Ultimate Extras simply were not worth the added cost to Ultimate. Bit Locker type applications are out for XP and Vista so why exactly pay $400 for a ‘exclusive feature’ that is added when it should either be in the OS anyway or can be inferior to 3rd party applications. Honestly I think I got fed up with it when the only things that were being released were Sound Packs, Dream Scenes, and very boring games like Ticker. So why exactly would one even want to pay that kind of money for such poor add on’s?
So it begs to differ..what exactly is Windows 7 Ultimate going to offer? What will set it apart from the other two versions that merit its price tag? The whole point of Ultimate and Ultimate Extras were that you got additional ‘treats’ for having dished out more money for the exclusive version of the OS. I really think if they had looked out for the long term they probably wouldn’t have went with this solution. Nothing was wrong with the Home/Pro versions. It actually made it quite simple. I guess in some ways it could be a blessing but far more questions arise than answers.