This week, from June 7–10, the TuneUp Blog team will be blogging from TechEd 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. We’ve traveled all the way from Germany to cover this conference which is among the biggest Microsoft events of the year. Stay tuned for the hottest tidbits and full coverage of all the Windows sessions.
This week will mostly be about the latest news, scoops, and upcoming technologies from Microsoft. However, it will also be exciting to meet up with all our fellow bloggers and friends, like Mary Jo Foley from All About Microsoft, Steven Bink from Bink.nu, and Long Zheng from istartedsomething.
Windows 7 Service Pack 1 plans announced, beta expected by end of July
To show us just how much cloud computing and Microsoft’s platform, Windows Azure, enable enterprise businesses to work more cost effectively, Muglia shared a video made by famed movie director James Cameron. Check this out:
After that, Muglia revealed some first details on Windows 7 Service Packs 1.
“We’re fixing minor problems that we have found,” he told the crowd. And what he said next should be highly emphasized. SP1 is not going to bring major improvements to the Windows platform. It is “just” a collection of updates and hotfixes—and there is nothing wrong with that. But Windows users tend to have huge expectations when it comes to SPs.
In fact, here’s a quick history lesson. Back in the XP days, Service Pack 2 was a huge deal because it brought many new technologies and a huge security overhaul to the operating system. In a way, history repeated itself with Windows Vista SP1, as it also brought major performance improvement as well a huge increase in reliability.
However, at the conference, Microsoft specifically de-emphasized the “value” of a Service Pack. It wants both companies and users to immediately adapt to Windows 7 (and Server 2008 R2 which shares the same core basis by the way) and not wait for the first Service Pack. In Windows 7 SP1, you can expect a whole lot of troubleshooting and bug fixes. We’ve got an inside look at some of the fixes, here is an excerpt:
However, on the server side of things, Microsoft included two features that will likely have a huge impact. The first new feature is called “RemoteFX”. This is an extension to the Remote Desktop Protocol with which you can access other PCs and servers over the network. It enables companies to install applications on a server and lets other users access this application in real time, with Aero effects, full 3D acceleration, full motion video, Silverlight, and flash animations. When using a regular Ethernet network, users will not see and feel a difference in performance between working in real time with the application and using RemoteFX to remotely access the program.
What’s even more amazing, all USB devices on the remote machine are immediately recognized on the client machine. There are no extra drivers nccessary and the applications are able to access the devices directly. Also, if you’re using Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 R2, Direct Memory is a huge deal, as it allows admins to change the amount of memory the virtual machine can use on the fly.
Service Pack 1, again, is nothing users should wait for—except, of course, if you have major problems that have not yet been addressed by Windows Update. Microsoft also hinted at an improved power management system, but did not share specifics. We will, however, install Windows 7 SP1 as soon as the beta version comes out and perform intense battery life comparison tests, as well as other benchmarks and see what Microsoft did to improve the Windows 7′s platform performance.