Microsoft is now offering Windows 7 users “Service Pack 1,” a bundle of security updates and minor feature improvements. If you’re thinking about installing this update, read on for a few caveats and tips that may change your mind.
First off, this service pack is mainly a bundle of previously-released security updates. If you are staying up-to-date in security patches, you are not going to gain much by installing this service pack, which contains a few uber-geeky feature improvements that are mostly a bonus for users of Windows Server 2008 R2 — not Windows 7.
My take? I’d say that the main benefit of this service pack for Windows 7 users would be if you were considering re-installing the operating system for some reason. In that case, Service Pack 1 would streamline the process quite a bit. Otherwise, I would urge Windows 7 users who are up-to-date to ignore this offering, at least for now.
If you decide to go forward with this Service Pack, there are several important considerations, particularly if your system has certain hotfixes installed (hotfixes are small patches designed to address specific — not necessarily security — issues). For example, Microsoft says that systems with hotfixes (2406705, 979350 or 983534) will block the installation of the service pack and may experience problems as a result.