Windows 7 SP1 due first half 2011

Service pack beta already available
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Service pack beta already available

Microsoft has announced that the Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 will be available in the first half of 2011.

The beta version of SP 1 was posted last week to enable wider feedback and compatibility testing but until now the company had not said when the production patch would be made available. 

Microsoft's Technet Evaluation Center website has now included information that says that the final version is some time in the first half of 2011. The move follows the earlier strategy used for Windows 7 itself in getting keen users aboard to beta test the release well before it became available to the general public. This approach has been seen by some as resulting in the smoother launch of Windows 7 compared to the earlier previous Vista.

No new features will be found in Service Pack 1 so it's unlikely they'll be a stampede to download the beta. Instead the update is mostly aimed at addressing security features although some enhancements will be made to existing features within Windows 7. 

The new patch is also anticipated to include "Dynamic Memory", a feature Microsoft says allows for better use of memory and user control over the operating systems allocation of resources in order to prioritise performance. 

These include RemoteFX, a package designed to bring 3D capabilities to remote desktops, and Dynamic Memory, which allows users to "adjust memory usage without sacrificing performance", according to Microsoft.