Last month, Al Gillen, an analyst with IDC, called Windows 7 SP1 an "important milestone," but added that it would have little impact on corporate migrations. "Historically, classic customer deployment behavior for new Windows client operating systems was to wait for the first service pack to arrive," Gillen said in a research note published in May. "[But] the Windows patching process ... has changed the rules of the game for many customers. The continuous stream of patches, over time, delivers a significant portion of service pack content."
Gillen's comments echoed opinions expressed earlier by other analysts, including Michael Cherry of Directions on Microsoft and Diane Hagglund of Dimensional Research, who both had said the rapid adoption of Windows 7 made SP1 as a business deployment milestone mostly moot.
More important than Windows 7 SP1 itself, Gillen said last month, was that its appearance marks the end of downgrade rights from Windows 7 Professional to the older Windows XP Professional.
Downgrade rights from Windows 7 to XP are to end in late April 2011 or when Microsoft launches Windows 7 SP1, whichever comes first.
Microsoft also delivered a beta of Exchange Server 2010 SP1 today. Previously, the company has said the final of its next mail server software would release before the end of the year.
Exchange Server 2010 SP1 can be downloaded from the Microsoft site .
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers, and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more about windows in Computerworld's Windows Topic Center.