Report: Microsoft moves up Windows 7 SP1 release date

Analyst argues that Microsoft should delay SP1 to maintain momentum of fast-selling OS

Even though Microsoft has dropped a plan to wait nearly two years after Windows 7's launch to issue a first service pack, it won't deliver the update before the fourth quarter of this year, a site that has accurately predicted past Windows timetables said today.

Microsoft would be smart to reconsider and delay a service pack as long as possible, one analyst countered.

TechARP.com , a Malaysian Web site that has nailed previous service pack schedules for both Windows XP and Vista, said unnamed sources had originally pegged a 22-month development schedule for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1). But Microsoft has since changed its mind, reportedly to address an unknown number of "serious" performance bugs.

"The earliest Microsoft can realistically release Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 is in the last quarter of 2010," the site said.

That schedule would, in fact, fit with the timetable Microsoft used for the two desktop operating systems prior to Windows 7. The company issued Windows XP SP1 slightly more than 10 months after the release of XP in October 2001, and delivered the first service pack for Vista about 12 months after Vista's January 2007 retail launch.

"There's no required rule for a service pack," observed Michael Cherry, an analyst with Kirkland, Wash.-based Directions on Microsoft. "It's a psychological milestone. They've trained us to wait for SP1."

Microsoft would benefit by postponing Windows 7 SP1, Cherry argued. "Windows 7 has pretty good momentum right now, and that might slow down if they announce a service pack. Then, logically, that's when people will wait. It could put the dampers on [Windows 7's] good sales right now."

According to Peter Klein, Microsoft's chief financial officer, the company has sold 90 million licenses to Windows 7 since July 2009.

Microsoft declined to comment on TechARP's claims, or on a Windows 7 service pack in general. "Per Microsoft policy, we do not comment on rumors or speculation," a spokeswoman said today via e-mail. "We have nothing new to announce at this time."

"If Microsoft wants to break people of the habit of waiting for SP1, this would be the time to do it," said Cherry, citing the popularity of Windows 7 and the almost unanimous praise the operating system has received. "I'm not hearing any significant problems with Windows 7, so this time, waiting for SP1 you may be doing yourself a disservice."

Microsoft may also be leery of releasing a service pack because of those positive reviews of Windows 7, and the chance that a flawed service pack could poison the well. "You have a good success on your hands," said Cherry, "so the last thing you want is a bad service pack."

When Microsoft first released Vista in 2007, company executives argued that a service pack wouldn't be necessary because Windows Update could deliver fixes as they became available. Microsoft later backed away from that position. It hasn't made the same argument about Windows 7.

Cherry explained why a service pack was still necessary. "When a person buys a new computer and they go to Windows Update, and there's 50, 60, 70 updates waiting, at some point it becomes burdensome," he said.

Microsoft has issued several stability and reliability updates for Windows 7 since its late-October launch. The January stability update, however, caused some Windows 7 systems to randomly freeze or display the "Blue screen of death" error screen. Microsoft said the reports were not a "major problem."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags MicrosoftWindowsWindows 7windows 7 SP1

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?