Windows 7 SP1 is now available from Windows Update.
First question answered: Is there a difference between x86 and x64 SP1? Yes, the installer will be specific per your architecture:
What this means is that if you intend on doing offline installations of SP1 for varying x86 and x64 systems, you will need to download the appropriate release.
What’s the major stuff contained within SP1? This is the link you want to go to read up on that: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=194726. In particular, the document that will probably help you out most from that page is Notable Changes in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1.
If after reading that document you think that SP1 appears to have much more importance concerning Server 2008 R2 compared to the consumer edition Windows 7 – you’re right. However there are many hotfixes specifically for consumer edition Windows 7 which you can read up on in Hotfixes and Security Updates included in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 from the above link.
I recommend SP1 to those running Windows 7 that:
- Are having specific issues with audio, video and/or networking hardware
- Plan on installing newer-technologies hardware
Other than the above, SP1 does not appear to be a must-have-now update if you’re running Windows 7, so unless you want to stay ahead of the update curve, you can hold off on SP1 until Windows Update prompts you to get it.
Lastly, as always, whenever downloading/installing a Microsoft Service Pack, this is rarely a quick process no matter how fast your PC is. Plan on setting aside at least an hour (preferably two) for everything to complete itself proper.
My experience downloading and installing Win 7 SP1:
Uneventful, which is to say nothing went wrong. The only annoying parts were that the download took a while (because the download servers were getting hammered at the time I was getting the update), and the boot after install took a while to complete. Total time spent download + install + restart was about an hour.
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