Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) RTM Launches

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 February 2011 12:33 Written by Mire_B Tuesday, 22 February 2011 12:33

This is the first service pack for Windows 7, and let me tell you it’s almost not worth spreading the word around. But the bits are live both on Windows Update and the Download Center. Speaking of which, here’s the link to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (KB976932).

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 helps keep your PCs and servers on the latest support level. It also provides ongoing improvements to the Windows Operating System (OS), by including previous updates delivered over Windows Update as well as continuing incremental updates to the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 platforms based on customer and partner feedback. This enables organizations to deploy a single set of updates.

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 will help you:

  • Keep your PCs supported and up-to-date
  • Get ongoing updates to the Windows 7 platform
  • Easily deploy cumulative updates at a single time
  • Meet your users’ demands for greater business mobility
  • Provide a comprehensive set of virtualization innovations
  • Provide an easier Service Pack deployment model for better IT efficiency

Do not click download if you are updating just one computer: A smaller, more appropriate download is now available on Windows Update. The best way to ensure you get Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 is by turning on the Automatic Updates feature. You can use our step-by-step instructions or, if you prefer, let us do it for you. If Windows Update is not offering you the option to install the service pack, see KB 2498452. If you are encountering a problem when installing the service pack from Windows update, see Troubleshoot problems installing a service pack for Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

Steps to take before installing Windows 7 Service Pack 1 from the Microsoft Download Center
If you choose to install Windows 7 SP1 from the Microsoft Download Center Web site, there are steps that you can take to make sure that you have a good experience when you install the service pack. This article, KB 2505743, provides some suggestions to improve your experience when you install Windows 7 SP1 from the Microsoft Download Center Web site.

In order to download and install Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 you must currently have a Release to Manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 already installed.

If you have previously installed a pre-release version of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 on your machine, you must uninstall that version before installing SP1.

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 is available for installation in the same languages made available at original launch of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

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MSDN and TechNet – Download Windows 7 SP1 RTM and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 RTM

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 February 2011 11:07 Written by Mire_B Wednesday, 16 February 2011 11:06

Guess what? The wait is over. I already downloaded Windows 7 SP1 RTM from my MSDN account, just didn’t get to install it until now. I also need to upgrade some Windows Server 2008 R2 servers to SP1 RTM.

From the Windows Team Blog:

Starting today, MSDN and TechNet Subscribers as well as Volume License customers will be able to download Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1). Next week on February 22nd, everybody else will be able to download SP1 from the Microsoft Download Center or Windows Update.

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Download IE9 RC

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 February 2011 11:04 Written by Mire_B Thursday, 10 February 2011 11:04

As promised, the Release Candidate of Internet Explorer 9 is available for download. Get the IE9 RC here.

The Release Candidate of Internet Explorer 9, available now at in 40 languages, reflects our unique approach to building the best experience of the Web on Windows. IE9 also reflects a more open and transparent approach with its regular of cadence of platform previews for developers and enthusiasts. With the Release Candidate, we’ve taken to heart over 17,000 pieces of feedback about IE9. You will find the product has made progress on all fronts—performance and standards, user experience, and safety and privacy.

We want to thank the millions of people who have installed and used Internet Explorer 9 during pre-release testing. The value of your feedback in developing the product is hard to overstate. The rest of this post highlights some of the changes made as we listened and acted directly on this feedback.

Performance & Standards: The Web Platform for Developers

The IE9 RC is faster with real world sites. In addition to making the script engine faster, we’ve improved and tuned the rest of the browser as well. You’ll find that Gmail, Office Web Applications, and many other sites are faster as a result of scenario tuning, network cache tuning, and new compiler optimizations. You’ll also find that the RC of IE9 often uses megabytes less memory than the beta because of changes like delayed image decoding. We’ve also improved the performance of things many people do every day, like find on page, and made improvements which extend battery life. In these videos you can see the performance improvements in the RC for text, layout, HTML5 canvas and video, illustrated through new demos on the IE9 test drive site:

Click to play video

Click to play video

IE9 RC supports additional emerging Web standards including CSS3 2D Transforms, HTML5 Geolocation and a set of HTML5 semantic elements. We’ve added support for the HTML5 canvas global­Composite­Operation property and improved the performance of canvas’s Canvas­Pixel­Array. We’ve updated IE9 RC to reflect changes to the DOM events and added accessibility to the HTML5 audio and video controls. These additions reflect our pattern of implementing site ready HTML5 while ensuring developers can experiment with new and emerging specifications through our HTML5 Labs. As these specifications become stable, you can expect we will implement them in IE as we have throughout the development of IE9.

Implementing Web standards is just the start of our commitment to an interoperable Web and Same Markup. Comprehensive test suites developed through the standards bodies are crucial to making sure that browser vendors implement these standards consistently. With this Release Candidate we’ve added over a thousand new test cases for JavaScript and updated over fifty test cases based on community feedback. During IE9 development we have now submitted just under 4000 test cases in total for standards like HTML5. We have submitted these tests to the appropriate standards bodies for feedback and eventual inclusion in their official test suites. You can try them out for yourself at the IE Test Center.

IE9 RC Test Results

User Experience: Site-Centric Browsing, Improved

With the RC, we’ve acted on thousands of pieces of feedback about how to improve IE9’s clean, site-centric design. Our IE9 beta telemetry data shows that 97% of sessions had 5 or fewer tabs open. At the same time, we care deeply about the other 3%. Many of you weren’t shy about sharing your ideas for how the browser could accommodate more tabs. We listened and we took your suggestions to heart. With the RC, you can put tabs on their own row taking advantage of the maximum available space for all your tabs:

Screen shot showing twelve tabs on separate row

Why is this change so important? You said so:

Based on yourfeedback, we also made it much easier to refine search queries in the One Box. Based on your feedback, IE9’s download manager will now display the download speed, and download notifications are animated and more noticeable. Based on your feedback, pinned sites now support multiple home pages – “redefining awesome” according to this comment. With Paste & Navigate (Control-Shift-L), hardcore enthusiasts can save a step pasting into the address bar. We’ve reduced the number of pixels in the frame, and updated the visuals, making the active tab easier to identify, and made it easier to close inactive tabs. We acted on your feedback unless there was a clear pattern of inconsistency (for example, big back button is bad… no, it’s good). There’s a list at the end of this post of additional improvements, and we will detail them in future blog posts.

In hindsight, this comment from the original beta post was prescient:

  • Tabs on same line as address bar! If this is believed to be the better way of doing things by yourselves then fine, leave it as defaullt but at least give us the option to move it around!!
  • Download speed not shown in download dialog. ??? Not acceptable.
  • Somebody said something about paste and go…it is indeed a useful feature. Can’t be too hard to implement ;)

In this video you can see some of these changes that resulted from the feedback you provided:

Click to play video

In short, developers and enthusiasts gave us some great feedback on how we can make our site-centric design even better. We listened, we acted, and we want to thank you for your contribution.

Safety and Privacy: Trustworthy Browsing

On today’s Web, consumers are increasingly wary, often out of necessity. They face security risks like malicious sites and phishing scams. Even on sites consumers know and trust, bad things often happen. It’s easy to almost follow a bad link from a friend on Facebook, or become a victim of malvertising when a malicious advertisement appears on an otherwise trustworthy site.

Based on your feedback, we’ve made it easy to “turn off ActiveX” for all sites and then re-enable it, site by site, as you see fit. You can try IE9’s ActiveX Filter at the IETestDrive site here.

IE9 now includes Tracking Protection because consumers have become increasingly concerned about privacy. IE9 enables consumers to express their preference for privacy, and also gives consumers a mechanism to enforce specific aspects of that preference. Consumers can do this by choosing Tracking Protection Lists from organizations they trust. These lists can block and allow third-party content in order to control what information consumers share with sites as they browse the Web. By controlling the flow of information to sites, these Tracking Protection Lists help users protect their privacy. Unlike other solutions, IE9’s benefits users even if Web sites do not respect the user’s preference to not be tracked. The ability for a site to determine that the user has expressed a desire to not be tracked (by turning the feature on) is inherent in the design of Tracking Protection.

Today the first set of Tracking Protection Lists created by trusted organizations are now available on the Web. Adding a tracking protection list in the IE9 RC is as simple as clicking a link on a Web page. At this early stage we have linked to these Tracking Protection lists on the IE Test Drive site so consumers can find and try them and immediately enjoy a level of choice and control with respect to their online privacy that didn’t exist before today.

What’s Ahead

The Web is beautiful and powerful because of the developers and designers who build it. Enabling them to build rich and immersive sites that feel like native applications on your Windows 7 PC is at the heart of our approach with IE9. Here’s a video of how several influential members of this important community are talking about IE9:

The development process of IE9 has focused on building the best experience of the Web on Windows. Our approach to building a faster Web-browsing platform involves harnessing more of the PC’s hardware for Web pages. Our approach to Web standards and interoperability involves real-world developer scenarios and modern software engineering practices like comprehensive test suites. Our approach to designing a clean, site-centric Web browsing experience involves using everything available around the browser that people use regularly, so people can now pin sites to the Windows taskbar and Web sites can program taskbar jump lists. Our approach to building a safer, more trustworthy browser involves effective consumer protections from real-world risks, like programs they download or sites that might unexpectedly track them. All of these things taken together has resulted in the fastest adopted beta in IE history, with over 25 million downloads to date.

Over the next few weeks, we will continue to listen closely and carefully to feedback from the worldwide community about the Release Candidate. We appreciate the work that developers and IT professionals will do to test their sites and prepare for the final release that will come shortly. We will automatically update IE9 beta users to the IE9 RC. After the final release, we will automatically update IE9 RC users to the final build.

On behalf of the individuals and companies who have worked so hard with us to deliver this Release Candidate, and the many people at Microsoft who have built it, thank you for visiting and trying IE9.

—Dean Hachamovitch, Corporate Vice President, Internet Explorer

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