Today Microsoft released the release candidate for Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Should you download and install it?
The initial public beta for Service Pack 1 came out in July, and back then we advised you to wait if you were not sure. My advice still stands, if you are not sure about running beta software, even a release candidate, then wait – the final fully released version of Service Pack 1 should be available early in 2011.
SPs or Service Packs are what Microsoft used to update your system in bulk – be it with hotfixes and security updates or even new features. A lot of people will wait to start using a product until it has at least an SP1 release.
Well after less than a year a beta for SP1 has been released – you may think that SP1 will be just around the corner, but you would be wrong. In fact, according to Microsoft, Windows 7 SP1 will be available in the first half of 2011 through the usual channels.
Windows 7 SP1 does not contain any new features specific to Windows 7, so you may ask yourself why should you bother to test it? Well, the more people that test it, the more bugs may be found and fixed, making it a better release when it does finally come out.
So if you want to try it, and you can if you want (I am), just visit the download page here.