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Microsoft begins automatic Windows 7 SP1 rollout

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Microsoft will start the automatic rollout of Windows 7 Service Pack on Tuesday.

The extensive software update will be handled via Windows Update, and will make its way onto PCs whose users have Automatic Update enabled.

"Updating customers to Windows 7 SP1 is part of our ongoing effort to ensure continued support and improved security updates for customers who have not yet installed SP1," the company wrote in a blog post.

The update only applies to consumer PCs – systems managed by the Systems Center Configuration Manager or WSUS Server are still wholly controlled by their admins, who can make the final call about when to install SP1.

Windows 7 SP1 was released in February, 2011. It fixed bugs relating to printing and HDMI audio, and added support for Advanced Vector Extensions, various identity services, RemoteFX, and dynamic memory, among others. The update requires 1050MB of free disk space on 64-bit Windows systems, and 750MB for 32-bit.

Windows 7 is not due to get a second service pack, as had been traditional for previous versions of the operating system, with Microsoft instead moving to a monthly patch cycle.

In the past we've suspected this change in cadence could reflect a desire by Microsoft to encourage people to go to Windows 8 quicker.

But the recent (unconfirmed) reveal of Microsoft's plan to move Windows to a yearly release cycle under the 'Blue' platform strategy, means it could be part of a larger plan to shift Windows from major updates into a series of discrete regular patches. ®

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