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Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 RC Out
Release candidate (RC) versions of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 have been released and can now be downloaded.
Microsoft issued the RC this week (downloadable here), which represents the final test version before product release. Much of the details about SP1 were earlier described when Microsoft announced the beta version at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference event in July.
SP1 contains an update rollup, but no new features for Windows 7 users. Instead, there are two new virtualization features for Windows Server 2008 R2. The "dynamic memory" and "RemoteFX" features are something that IT pros and larger organizations might consider using, but might be overkill for smaller shops.
The dynamic memory function allows users to pool the memory available on hardware and allocate it dynamically to virtual machines as needed. It helps extract more efficiency from server farms when using server virtualization. This feature is supported on the Standard and Web editions of Windows Server 2008 R2.
The RemoteFX capability will enable a better graphics experience on thin-client devices when users connect remotely with servers to enable desktop virtualization. It works with Microsoft's Remote Desktop Services core virtualization technology in Windows Server 2008 R2. With RemoteFX in place, Microsoft promises the ability to tap into 3D graphics (such as AutoCAD) and streaming video via thin-client devices.
For those awaiting the final SP1 product, it's expected to arrive sometime "during first quarter 2011," according to a Microsoft blog.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.