Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 represents Microsoft’s continuing commitment to quality. While many of the updates contained in SP1 are available as individual downloads, the integration of these updates in SP1 enhances the ease of deployment for IT administrators. These enhancements are typically made available in the form of regular updates delivered via Windows Update and, in some cases, the Microsoft Download Center. All updates are then rolled-up, along with additional enhancements, into a single package called a Service Pack.
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Various individual files and components have been updated. Also, the language-neutral design of Windows necessitates that the service pack be able to update any possible combination of the basic languages supported by Windows 7 with a single installer, so language files for the 36 basic languages will be included in the standalone installer at the final release. The beta will only be available in 5 languages. Here are the notable changes in Service Pack 1 for Windows 7.
- Additional support for communication with third-party federation services – Additional support has been added to allow Windows 7 clients to effectively communicate with third-party identity federation services (those supporting the WS-Federation passive profile protocol). This change enhances platform interoperability, and improves the ability to communicate identity and authentication information between organizations.
- Improved HDMI audio device performance – A small percentage of users have reported issues in which the connection between computers running Windows 7 and HDMI audio devices can be lost after system reboots. Updates have been incorporated into SP1 to ensure that connections between Windows 7 computers and HDMI audio devices are consistently maintained.
- Corrected behavior when printing mixed-orientation XPS documents – Prior to the release of SP1, some customers have reported difficulty when printing mixed-orientation XPS documents (documents containing pages in both portrait and landscape orientation) using the XPS Viewer, resulting in all pages being printed entirely in either portrait or landscape mode. This issue has been addressed in SP1, allowing users to correctly print mixed-orientation documents using the XPS Viewer.
- Change to behavior of “Restore previous folders at logon” functionality – SP1 changes the behavior of the “Restore previous folders at logon” function available in the Folder Options Explorer dialog. Prior to SP1, previous folders would be restored in a cascaded position based on the location of the most recently active folder. That behavior changes in SP1 so that all folders are restored to their previous positions.
- Enhanced support for additional identities in RRAS and IPsec – Support for additional identification types has been added to the Identification field in the IKEv2 authentication protocol. This allows for a variety of additional forms of identification (such as E-mail ID or Certificate Subject) to be used when performing authentication using the IKEv2 protocol.
- Support for Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX) – There has always been a growing need for ever more computing power and as usage models change, processors instruction set architectures evolve to support these growing demands. Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX) is a 256 bit instruction set extension for processors. AVX is designed to allow for improved performance for applications that are floating point intensive. Support for AVX is a part of SP1 to allow applications to fully utilize the new instruction set and register extensions.