Prepare for SP1 even if you're not on Windows 7, say analysts

Businesses should prepare to plan their Windows 7 SP1 deployments, even if they are not in a position to run Windows 7 yet.

Businesses should prepare to plan their Windows 7 SP1 deployments, even if they are not in a position to run Windows 7 yet.

Microsoft has released the first service pack for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, which includes 798 security hot fixes.

According to Microsoft blogger Brandon LeBlanc, commenting on the Windows Team blog, "There is no new functionality as we have mentioned previously beyond client-side support for RemoteFX and Dynamic Memory, which are two new virtualisation features enabled in Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1."

The service pack should not disrupt applications, at least according to Sheldon Lachambre, head of engineering for application compatibility company App-DNA, in a recent post on the CWDN blog. "According to our analysis there are areas that have changed, namely the file system, the registry and the shim database. However with the exception of the shim database these changes are generally inconsequential with regard to application compatibility," he says.

Michael Silver, Gartner principal analyst, recommends that CIOs should not delay upgrading to Windows 7 SP1. In the Gartner paper, Include SP1 in Your Windows 7 Plan, Silver advises organisations that have started deploying Windows 7 to continue with their deployment. "However, they should check with their ISVs and plan to test SP1 later in 2011 so they can "slipstream" it into their future deployments or install it on previously installed Windows 7 PCs later in 2011 or in 2012," he said.

Organisations that are still in the application testing phase of their Windows 7 project should consider adding SP1 to their test suite, but only if it would delay the project by less than six months, and only if it will not derail the project, the report states.

In Forrester Research's Updated 2010: Windows 7 Commercial Adoption Outlook, which was published in November 2010, 778 IT decision makers were surveyed on their Windows 7 migration plans. Nearly 90% plan to migrate to Windpws 7.

According to the survey, the top five Windows 7 features that IT professionals need to prepare for are:

  • DirectAccess, which simplifies connectivity for mobile users
  • BranchCache, which improves branch access networking
  • BitLocker and BitLocker To Go, which secures the data on hard drives and
  • Removable USB thumb drives
  • AppLocker, which delivers more granular control of user
  • Applications
  • Federated search, which simplifies access to data across local and remote
  • Resources

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