Microsoft announced that Service Pack 1 for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 was released to manufacturing. In contrast with many previous service packs, this newest operating system update is a relatively minor affair, offering the usual consolidated set of security and stability updates but little in the way of new functionality.
Feature 1: Dynamic Memory
The few new features that are available are oriented at server-based virtualization workloads. Those new features are Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX. Dynamic Memory brings memory overcommitment, of a kind, to Hyper-V; that is, it allows creation of virtual machines such that in aggregate the virtual machines think they have more physical memory than a server actually has installed.
Feature 2: RemoteFX
RemoteFX allows thin clients to use server-side GPU resources to provide hardware acceleration to Direct3D and OpenGL applications. This virtualization is offered both for Remote Desktop scenarios, where clients connect to and run applications on a server directly, and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) scenarios, where clients connect to a virtual machine hosted on a server.
Windows Thin PC
Microsoft also used the service pack announcement to describe Windows Thin PC, a benefit for Software Assurance customers that will become available next year. Windows Thin PC is a special, locked-down version of Windows 7 designed to be used as a thin client. Unlike other thin clients, systems running Windows Thin PC will not need a virtual desktop access (VDA) license to access services provisioned using VDI desktops. In conjunction with RemoteFX, this should allow older PCs to obtain the full richness of the Windows 7 desktop experience.
When is it available
Though reaching RTM status today, the service pack will not be available until next week. Volume license customers and Technet and MSDN Subscribers will be able to download it from February 16, and Windows Update and pre-install availability should start on February 22.