Microsoft is now preparing to push out Service Pack 1 to those that have managed to wait off this long for whatever reason.
The idea is that those who have Windows Update on will get the update for Windows 7 automatically starting tomorrow, here is Microsoft’s own words from their blog post:
“Starting tomorrow, the installation will be fully automatic with no user action required for those who already have Automatic Update enabled. SP1 will be released gradually over the coming weeks to all customers on the RTM version of Windows 7. The service pack will take slightly longer to install compared to other updates. To ensure Service Pack 1 is installed without issue, customers should check for sufficient free disk space and that AC power is present on a laptop. If additional space needs to be created, we recommend using the Disk Cleanup tool to delete some files so that the service pack will install. If the service pack installation is interrupted, it will reattempt to install automatically after the next restart.”
Those who run IT departments might be wondering how this might affect you. The answer is that it doesn’t. Microsoft has clarified that the update will only work on Windows 7 consumer PCs that aren’t specially managed through tools like Windows Server Update Services and System Center Configuration Manager.
This is important because some admins have purposely prevented the update until they are 100% sure that everything works and properly tested for their organization’s needs. So why is this update so important?
Despite the obvious reasons like security fixes, the biggest reason is that any copy of Windows 7 RTM without a service pack will no longer be supported starting April 9th of this year. This follows the typical Microsoft cycle of dropping support for non-service pack versions of Windows 24 months after the release of said service pack (Windows 7 SP1 was released February 2011).
For those with SP1, the support will keep going until January 13th of 2015 and extended, paid support will continue all the way to January 14th of 2020. For businesses, having official support is often considered vital, so even if your organization has software in place to block out this out update, you might want to consider putting it in place sooner rather than later.
It is also worth noting that Microsoft has just released an important Windows 7 hotfix rollup that includes 90 previously released hotfixes and is almost like SP2 (though not officially).
So what are you waiting for, begin your last minute testing and get your organization rolled over to Windows 7 SP1.