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Windows 7 SP1 'beta' leaks, hits torrents

Cool new stuff for server edition

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

A beta version of Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 has apparently leaked onto the torrent networks, if you're exceptionally brave and fancy installing a knock-off version of a major OS update.

The intrepid can take some slight reassurance from the information that it can be uninstalled, so your Windows installation might survive the experience long enough for you to install the real thing when it's officially released.

Windows 7 has had a pretty warm reception from most people, so this is not as big a deal as it otherwise might be. After all, Win7 is basically Vista version 1.1 anyway, as even the internal version number admits. SP1 is mainly a rollup of previously-released hotfixes, although some people running earlier leaked versions report that there are new ones in there too.

For desktop Windows, there are no huge changes – the most visible is expected to be built-in support for USB3. Servers running W2K8 R2 will see more improvements, including two new features for those using Hyper-V virtualisation: Dynamic Memory, meaning on-the-fly adjustment of the memory allocation of running virtual machines, and for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) users, the new RemoteFX feature, which delivers Direct3D acceleration to users on thin clients.

We may be jaded, but the main reason for a relatively minor SP1 coming so soon after the release of the OS is probably just an effort to reassure those corporates waiting for the first service pack before rolling out the new OS. Microsoft will be very cautious about testing the first big fix-pack for what's been a commendably-stable new OS: before the official release, expect to see a second beta then two release candidates.

Far be it from us to link to downloads of an unauthorised product, but if you go searching, look for build 7601.16562. Those seeking the sheer unbridled excitement of reading the release notes for an unreleased Microsoft product may obtain gratification right here. ®

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