Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 coming February 16 – LE Journal

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Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 coming February 16

Microsoft released Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 to its equipment manufacturer partners on Wednesday.

SP1 has essentially hit the “RTM” milestone, in Microsoft’s parlance, which is when hardware manufacturers begin to create software images for their server products. The service pack will be available to Microsoft TechNet and MSDN subscribers, as well as Microsoft volume licensing customers, on February 16, 2011. It will generally be available through the Microsoft Download Center and Windows Update on February 22, according to an announcement. . on the Microsoft Server Division blog.

Windows 7 users will not see any new features in this service pack, which contains cumulative updates for the desktop operating system. However, for Windows Server 2008 R2 users, SP1 contains two new virtualization features: “dynamic memory” for Hyper-V and “RemoteFX” for Remote Desktop Services.

Dynamic memory allows operators to pool memory available on hardware and allocate it to virtual machines as needed. The RemoteFX capability supports an enhanced graphics experience on thin client devices when users connect remotely with servers in virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) scenarios.

Microsoft claims that dynamic memory usage can increase VDI density by 40% on Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 compared to Windows Server 2008. The company’s testing used Windows 7 as the guest operating system.

In a push to VMware, Microsoft claimed that dynamic memory can be used to boost VDI scenarios without compromising security. A Microsoft virtualization blog singled out VMware, accusing the company of recommending disabling a Windows security feature called “Address Space Layout Randomization” (ASLR) as a best practice in VDI deployments. ASLR protects against malware-induced buffer attacks by loading DLL files into random memory on startup, making APIs harder for malware to find. Microsoft does not recommend disabling ASLR and claims that using it does not significantly slow VDI performance.

RemoteFX works with Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Services (formerly known as “Terminal Services”) and uses intellectual property that Microsoft acquired with the purchase of Callista Technologies in 2008. The Microsoft Server Division blog describes RemoteFX technology as allowing computer stores to “virtualize the server-side graphics processing unit (GPU) and deliver next-generation multimedia and 3D user experiences for VDI.” The technology is described as allowing users to remotely access graphics-intensive applications, such as CAD programs, on thin client devices.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is Senior News Producer for 1105 Media’s Converge360 Group.


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