Microsoft said today that it had sent the first service pack for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 to original equipment manufacturers, with a consumer release to follow later this month.
Microsoft says the update will go out to consumers through Windows Update on February 22. TechNet subscribers and Microsoft's volume license customers will get their hands on it a week earlier, on the 16th.
SP1 includes an updated version of Microsoft's remote desktop client, alongside a round of hot fixes, and dynamic memory support for Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2.
On the company's server team blog, Michael Kleef, who is a senior technical product manager on the team, said that the dynamic memory feature alone has made a dramatic increase in machine density within the company's testing:
Dynamic Memory lets you increase virtual machine density with the resources you already have--without sacrificing performance or scalability. In our lab testing, with Windows 7 SP1 as the guest operating system in a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) scenario, we have seen a 40 percent increase in density from Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM to SP1. We achieved this increase simply by enabling Dynamic Memory.
Kleef goes on to praise the new RemoteFX technology that's included with SP1, which virtualizes the graphical processing unit on the server instead of on local hardware. This means thin-client machines can run more graphically intensive applications on hardware that wouldn't otherwise support it, which as a side effect can cut down on electricity used by those machines. "Together, these technologies will drive down the end-point cost and reduce end-point power consumption to as little as a few watts," Kleef said.