back to article Will a service pack for Windows 7 rock up anytime soon?

Eagle-eyed bloggers who, it seems, have nothing better to do with their time then to scan Microsoft’s Windows 7 underbelly, recently discovered a Registry Key that points to service pack 1 of the operating system. Windows 7 has only been available to consumers for less than three months, and already there is talk about when …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    A triumph of forecasting?

    I'm not sure it took any degree of divination in a mystical cave to determine that a new operating system would, one day, receive a service pack...

  2. Greg J Preece


    File copying and boot up times are still busted for me in Win7 on my desktop - if you ask me it could do with an SP sooner rather than later.

  3. Peter Kay

    Of course the fixes are pointing to SP 1 - that's the way it works

    A service pack is a collection of fixes plus additional tweaks and features. As such, after the feature and bug fixes of the generally available product/product with servicepack is set except for utterly critical fixes, any subsequent bug fixes will be assigned to the next product which is not yet set.

    Windows 7 is now past release to manufacture, so any fixes will be assigned as SP1. Once SP1 has gone into beta, fixes will be named as SP2.

    The only real criticism I'd level at Windows 7 so far is that some of the bundled drivers are of poor quality, although at least it did better in that department than Vista, and the problem was quickly solved with the latest manufacturer drivers.

  4. Kimo

    Need it or not...

    M$ would be smart to put out a Service Pack ASAP, just for those who "wait for the first service pack" before upgrading to a new Windows.

    1. Chika


      I can see what you are getting at, but I'm one of those "I won't do it until SP1" types (despite the fact that I already have one W7 machine in service) and my own view was that the appearance of SP1 for an operating system was only part of the consideration. If anything, an early SP1 release is more of an admission of defeat and less of an enticement to buy.

      As for my own W7 experience, it seems to have settled down for the moment but it was having serious problems shortly after boot recently, making the system all but unusable for at least 15-20 minutes. Haven't identified the exact cause, but it seems like something is scanning the system at startup. I've switched off all the identifiable culprits (there are many!) which may be why it is running better than it was. Oh, and the security centre (now called the "Action Center"), although better than the Vista version, is still buggy and still likes to nag, though you can minimise a lot of the nagging to just a flag on the toolbar.

      If SP1 was to come out early, I suspect that some of the above would be targets, but my immediate question would be "why?"

    2. Kevin 6


      I waited till SP2 of win 2k to put that on (still use SP4 on my main PC and server), and SP3 of XP to start using that regularly my other PC's.

      Tried win7 ultimate out on 2 of my other PC's one PC blue screened and rebooted every time during shutdown after a few days tried 32 bit and 64 bit full reinstalls with no 3rd party progs both editions still did it (intel atom 330 with an intel desktop board), and the other PC randomly would reboot I was using it for video rendering kinda can see why random reboots would be an issue... Both run fine and perfectly stable with XP and have yet to crash.

      So yea I'll wait till SP1 to try win 7 again.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Windows 7 is so very perfect!

    Well the Microsoft Droids say so.

    If it is so perfect then why the need for a service pack so soon?

    Ok, I'm outahere. Mines the one with the XP SP3 CD in the pocket.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Same reason as Apple

      OS10 is 10 years old and was perfect when it came out. now after 6 paid service packs it is still perfect.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    I sometimes wonder...

    ...if I was the only IT engineer to use Vista solidly for 12 months with barely any issues (i.e., no more than XP).

    I wasn't using it lightly, either - application development, network engineering, design work, gaming, web projects and all the normal messing about that we do.

    Not that Windows 7 isn't great - I love it, but I never did fully understand the hatred for Vista.

    1. Peter Kay

      I still like Vista

      After SP1 and adequate drivers from Nvidia and Creative Labs, Vista x64 has been utterly solid. I even tried it on a 1GB laptop and it wasn't, to my surprise, grindingly slow (now upgraded to 4GB though..).

      The UAC isn't a problem for well written apps. The only criticism I'd level at it is that sometimes it isn't clear what's being authorised.

      I actually had less problems than with XP, which had ground to a halt after a year of usage - Vista didn't.

      The problem is that Vista was initially buggy, driver support was sporadic and mediocre and application compatibility with poorly written apps was variable. It never recovered from its initial bad press.

      There are other areas where it'd be nice to see improvement in Vista, but I'd hesitate to call it bad.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      I sometimes wonder

      Vista was over hyped (winfs, .Net based OS?) ,had poor driver support , UAC confused or annoyed people and a lot of apps didn't work - not all of that was MS's fault.

      They allowed Intel and others to certify HW as Vista capable and showed wizzy desktop animations when the HW was barely capable of running the basic mode - that was their fault.

      If all MS did was turn off some of the toy desktop gadgets and wait a few years for apps and graphics (especuially on laptops) to catch up - then you could just rebadged Vista now and it would be a success. Some claim thats all they have done.

    3. Rob
      Thumb Up

      Nope not the only one

      The only reason I upgraded to 7 was due to the Fmaily Pack offer and that Vista on my laptop wasn't a clean install but an upgrade, so eventually it was starting to get clogged up. Vista on my wife's laptop is still going strong and she only wants to upgrade to 7 cause I've done the other 2 PC's and she's feeling 'left out'.

  7. mrweekender

    Which is it please!

    Quote: "..there are than 800,000 unique apps and 238,000 unique devices that work great with Windows 7".

    There are 145958 unique apps for the iPhone but the Microsoft shills state that a decent platform this does not make.

    Sorry folks you can't have it both ways.

    1. Dale Richards


      Microsoft's "million reasons" bullshit is still bullshit, but they're hardly contradicting themselves by saying a platform with 145,958 apps isn't as good as a platform with over 800,000 apps.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Duh again

        Indeed, quantity over quality wins every time.

    2. Brian 6


      145958 is a much smaller number than 800,000 u twat.

      1. mrweekender

        Exactly my point.. fucking retard!

    3. Scott 70
      Jobs Horns


      And 145900 of these are utter bollocks and could have been written by my Grandmother.

  8. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Never buy v1.0

    Is the SP now just a marketing excercise?

    So you roll it out when sales a re flagging or to companies that never install anything until SP1 is out?

    Microsoft Windows 7 the director's cut, now on blue-ray.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      RE: Never buy v1.0

      Vista = Windows 6.0

      7 = Windows 6.1

      Just like

      2000 = Windows 5.0

      XP = Windows 5.1

      1. Chika

        Possibly the wrong comparison?

        True enough, but there was a difference.

        2000 = Windows 5.0 - reliable system

        XP = Windows 5.1 - apart from a bit of a wibble in the early days, still reliable

        Vista = Windows 6.0 - Overbloated, had all sorts of driver issues

        7 = Windows 6.1 - Not that many new features, more of a bugfix

        I'd be more likely to liken Windows Vista to Windows 7 with the transition between Windows 3.0 and 3.1.

  9. Jimmy Floyd

    Vista SP3

    I'm sure there will be a few jolly wags at pains to suggest that Windows 7 is just Windows Vista Service Pack 3. This, of course, is patently absurd. For a start, Windows 7 seems to work...

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Vista SP3

      Indeed, so the real question we ought to be asking is "Now that MS have proven they know how to fix the bugs in Vista, how long are the poor sods that paid good money for that OS going to have to wait before they get these fixes?".

      Vista SP3 is *far* more overdue than Win7 SP1.

      1. Big-nosed Pengie
        Gates Horns

        This would be...

        ...a service pack to a service pack...

  10. Richard Harris
    Gates Horns

    Call me a cynic but...

    How many people out there have stated that they never touch a mickysoft product until SP1 has arrived? If MS release a small (pre-planned?) SP1, they can then watch the next wave of sales roll in a lot earlier than usual.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Call me a cynic but...

      Seems a perfectly reasonable way to handle numpties who a) assume without touching something that it's broken, and b) assume SP1 will fix problems they don't know exist. Still, the "I won't touch ..." chant is a bit of a meme, I suppose. Like calling everything new "just <previous product> SP<number>". Very catchy if you hate MS, tired and sad if you don't. I would say don't bother calling me a shill, but people will anyway and a lot of people here think it's funny to automatically do something when asked not to. Also tired and sad. So very, very sad.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        you are a shill


  11. Gianni Straniero

    This article requires more editing

    Will a service pack for Windows 7 rock up anytime soon?

    By Phil Bandwidth.



  12. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    w7 *is* a service pack

    It's blindingly obvious that w7 is what vista was supposed to be. They released a broken version of it a couple of years ready and half-finished so they could start booking some revenue against what was by that stage a horribly overdue project, then used that to fund fixing all the bugs and completing the unfinished features, finally releasing the fully-completed product as if it was something new. Typical computer industry scam. Victims of this ripoff should take them to the OFT and demand they be upgraded.

    1. YARR
      Thumb Up


      Vista is to 7 what 2k was to XP.

      1. Christian Berger

        Re: Agreed

        Nope, Microsoft actually went backwards from 2k to XP. 2k, at least in it's normal version had network support and could be installed without online registration. Two features which had been taken out of XP for marketing reasons.

  13. Inachu

    I see no need for sp1 just yet.

    The only issue I have been having is with video drivers that keep the screen stalling/freezing but of course that is not a microsoft issue but a video driver issue.

  14. Si 1

    Driver support

    To be fair, most Vista drivers also work in Windows 7, so it's not exactly a case of Microsoft doing things right and more a case that there bloody well should be some drivers that work with Vista by now!

  15. Andrew Parsons
    Gates Horns

    Updates welcomed

    I would love to see an sp1 if it could solve all the random startup crashes I keep getting since upgrading from solid as a rock vista to windows 7 with my i7...

    I'm certainly not impressed with the so called support for third party applications either. A large percentage of my existing software seems to be allergic to 7 - particuarly when trying to install/uninstall.

    1. Chika

      I did notice one bug...

      I installed an Epson All-in-One system recently for my W7 system as my Kyocera was getting a bit past it. One part of the shovelware that came with it, however, insisted that it would not install on anything earlier than Windows 2000! Wonder how some programmers check for the version?!?

      Well 7<2000, but still... :/

  16. robert cooke

    i actually like it.

    fair enough, i've got a 4 core 3GHZ machine with 6 GB of RAM, but damn, it's good! everything i want to use, some of it going back many years, works well. it boots quickly, and is stable as a rock. i've even updated my netbook, and have no problems with that either.

    Cheers M$, after my many years in the industry you're actually releasing some decent software now.

    Still waiting for my flying car though....

  17. frymaster

    not really...

    "Windows Vista was riddled with bugs, offered (at best) lacklustre support for third party software and hardware..."

    the ONLY issue anyone I know ever had with vista was just after launch, when there was sod all drivers around for it. that's indirectly MS's fault as a result of the huge negative publicity they managed to drum up ahead of vista's launch, but it was better drivers turning up - and not the arrival of SP1 - that caused the turnaround. I installed vista when SP1 came out - BUT DIDN'T INSTALL SP1 - and had no problems

    note that drivers on win7 are generally just the vista drivers, if they work; for situations where the vista drivers don't work, some companies are still to provide updated versions for 7. This means that windows 7 has a subset of the hardware support of vista, currently (I expect that to change over time, and 7 has better support for touchscreens and sensors)

    and i'm unaware of any legacy software that won't run on vista that will run on 7 (excepting the business version's XP mode, otherwise known as "I need foxpro drivers installed" mode) - indeed as vista introduced the virtual file redirection system, it copes better than xp for non-admins dealing with ancient code that expects to be able to write to the program files directory.

    vista is manifestly NOT worth the development time it took to create it (mainly because they basically abandoned all progress and started again half-way through). vista blatantly did NOT live up to the hype that MS put about many years before release. These factors combined into a backlash of negative publicity which helped ensure that there'd be sod all drivers, especially for 64-bit, at launch. This in turn further fueled the backlash against it, ensuring it'd never really be popular. This is definately a failure that can be laid at microsoft's door.

    But objectively, vista IS an improvement on XP, it's not "bug ridden", it's backwards-compatability support is good (there's not a single user-level app I've seen that won't run on it) and hardware support by vendors is now good

    noone's denying vista was a total failure for MS, but that's no reason to go making up extra issues with it either

  18. Dick Emery


    ...isn't Windows 7 already a service pack for Vista?


    Less Stable than Vista

    I've had 7's explorer.exe crash on me repeatedly several times (several instances of repeated crashing) REQUIRING a re-boot to sort it out. never experienced anything like it with Vista.

    I do like 7, but it is less stable than Vista, even pre-SP1.

  20. TheOtherJola

    If it ain't broken, why fix it?

    What's actually wrong with the OS to warrant a service pack?

    1. CADmonkey

      @ If it ain't broken, why fix it?

      That's just what normal people say.

      Engineers say if it ain't broken, then it doesn't do enough yet!

      (still using XP64....)

  21. Paul 129


    Win7 fixes a lot of vista issues, but how. With all the optimizations they have done I fail to see how its really maintainable, in anything but the short term.

    Anyone who can release "JUNCTIONS" and expect their OS to be considered as anything but a kludge, is beyond me.

    1. Peter Kay

      Junctions have been around for nine years..

      Junctions were introduced as part of Windows 2000 - your point is what, exactly?

  22. Mage Silver badge

    Getting it right?

    They badly messed up with Office95 and had to upgrade NT (real Windows) from NT3.5 to NT3.51, then they messed up again with NT4.0.

    The DOS Win 3.x to Dos Win4 (Win95) at time of Nt3.51 and 1 year before NT4.0 was same old 16 bit + 32bit hybrid on DOS with simply a new Shell.( Explorer). WFWG3.11 had 32bit TCP/IP, 32 bit Disk, 32 bit application support etc...

    So they messed up badly technically in 1995 to 1996, but their marketing and API machinations and shiny Explorer really boosted sales.

    They learnt nothing because Sales was good and Market Share increased.

    NT5 was rushed and we got not too bad Win2K finished in late 2001/early 2002 as XP and server version badly delayed till 2003. (win2003).

    NT6 was too bloated, too many important things dropped, too many changes of course, so we got the broken NT6 AKA Vista. Server version delayed even more to 2008! Then the final fixup as Win7. Not a new version at all. but final debugged desktop version of Vista/Server 2008. That's why ver returns 6.x, not compatibility as it's less compatible to point that to migrate from XP you might need a virtual copy of XP.

    So what is point of upgrade on existing hardware? Meanwhile latest Ubuntu is better than Vista on a 2007 Laptop on my PIII 450MHz from 2000!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely Win7 SP1

    is Vista SP2?

  24. Oldfogey

    XP still not dead?

    Of course XP isn't dead yet - and neither are 95, 98, or ME from what I see around, whatever MS might like.

    Casual users who do a bit of email, write the odd letter, or surf occasionally for a weather report or something, find they have no need whatsoever to upgrade, and will only do do if their machines die in a thoroughly terminal manner.

    They are still using dial-up as well, because they only go on line for a few minutes a week.

    Techies tend to forget the vast mass of users out there who have no interest in the latest kit, if what they have does what they need.

    The icon is what I usually get for fixing their machines.

    1. CADmonkey
      Thumb Up

      In that case...

      ...I need a four-pack of Guinness icon!

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      "or ME"


      Impressive that. Given the number of people actively trying to kill it, it's proving to be more difficult to get rid of than bloody Dracula.

      1. Chika

        ME? I suppose so...

        Mind you, ME was a bigger load of crap than its predecessor, and would probably be a possible comparison for Vista if one were needed (though I still stick to my Windows 3.0 to 3.1 analogy). It killed most of its own support off.

        I still have W98SE on the go...

  25. Anonymous Coward


    It would be smart of them to remove that issue where RPC-1 drives are blocked from playing DVDs in Windows Media Center and Windows Media Player. I had to buy a new drive just because my old drives were RPC-1. I imagine if I was in Australia, one complain to the consumer agency would be enough to land Microsoft in deep trouble.

    Second problem, I was unable to install the Win7 drivers for a network-shared LaserJet 6P. Turns out that installing the Vista version of the Okidata C3300N driver was the culprit. Apparently, the system would cease recognizing Win7 native printer drivers once you install a Vista one. My workaround? Have another Win7 machine which has already connected to that printer first share it's share of the printer, have this Win7 laptop use that share, then connect to that shared printer direct and delete this share, and of course stop the other Win7 machine from sharing. Tiresome workaround.

    A SP1 to fix these would be a smart thing to do.

    1. Jess

      @blocked from playing DVDs

      That is enforcing DRM I think. Try VLC that just works.

  26. tony trolle


    If anyone has been looking current XP updates have been showing up as SP4.

    Peter Kay has the right description

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Except that...

    ..."Windows-7" actually... REALLY IS... "Vista" (renamed because of "Vista's", entirely self-created, market/consumer pariah-status). The absolute FACT is that more than ninety-percent of "Windows-7's" code-base actually IS... "Vista" code. The biggest changes are actually, merely, "configuration" changes (...meant to hide some of "Vista's" annoying-ness) ...and the inclusion of the latest "Vista-patches", "updates", and drivers (which are still, very-evidently, very-much, works in-progress).

    Microsoft... after refusing for the longest time to admit what an absolute market-disaster "Vista" was... finally HAD TO admit that "Vista was a mess. So, Microsoft patched it, polished it, and renamed it. And, with about a billion dollars of SPIN, advertising, and pseudo-"Fresh Start" marketing-hype, Microsoft is, desperately, trying to undue the painful facts of "Vista's", well-documented, failings.

    All in all, in my opinion, the latest version of "Vista"... "Windows-7" (Vista 1.6..?)... isn't really all that bad. However... it still DOES have A LOT of serious problems, such as;

    -Its network initialization is, still, dead-dog-slow.

    -Its interoperability (I.E. NON-interoperability) with established non-"Windows-7/Vista" machines/networks/equipment is STILL driving people mad.

    -Its hardware requirements make it a terrible "upgrade" option for huge numbers of currently running systems.

    -Its "version"-ing, and pricing, is still, simply, insane.

    -Microsoft's "security" bolt-ons, and system-level "user" lock-outs still demonstrate that Microsoft really doesn't have a clue about REAL system security, robustness, or... consumer-needs/rights.


    -Microsoft's new paradigms regarding "User Interaction", and "resource-sharing", are not only infuriating to MOST... but, in some ways are actually several, technological, steps BACKWARDS... as far as "usability", and "convenience", for many computer-users.

    In short... as someone who has worked with computers for decades (and who loves to program, tinker, and explore new technologies)... and, also, as someone who has literally worked specifically with Microsoft, and many, many, of their products (going all the way back to when they were "Micro-soft")... I'd have to remind everyone that they [Microsoft] (and their product-priorities) have, clearly, NOT actually changed, one-bit... nor, has "fair competition", quality, truthfulness, or consumer-wishes, in any way, risen to the top of Microsoft's operational-methodologies/priorities.

    And... I'd say that any intelligent-person needs to view everything that comes out of Redmond through the, experience-based, rationality of that reality.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Enough with all the inverted commas and CAPS! If your argument is strong enough we don't need all the additional emphasis ffs.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Okay... ffs

        >> Enough with all the inverted commas and CAPS! If your argument is strong enough we don't need all the additional emphasis ffs.

        Sorry, bad habits from the ancient days of message-board-arguments... a couple of years ago.

  28. Peter Kay

    Not that anyone will bother listening..

    XP was no different and was hated on release. It was short of drivers, quite buggy and only really began to be accepted a year on when SP1 came out.

    There was still a mass of Windows 98 users who objected to a properly written operating system stopping their shitty programs that tried to do dodgy things to memory from working. Gaming was faster in 98 for some time after the release of XP. There was also a shortage of drivers, and increased security - a proper NTFS filesystem, multiuser, SMP etc.

    Does this sound at all familiar?

    Since 2001 there are radically more threats on the Internet, dodgy programs, botnets etc. Like the Internet originally, there are parts of Windows (and Unix incidentally) that were designed for speed or ease of use over security and were more forgiving of programming errors.

    Whilst Vista did have a number of unacceptable bugs, a large part of the public's dislike for it was due to a) a lack of drivers - people like Nvidia and Creative Labs did not pull their finger out for months after release, which is clearly unforgiveable b) Microsoft's usual trick of specifying inadequate hardware requirements - Vista will run quite well in 1GB, but don't try running large games or apps on it.. c) the beginings of proper security enforcement and user/admin separation and d) enforcing requirements on app writers that had been recommendations for years.

    Users just want Things To Work. Unfortunately they're also unrealistic and expect stable, secure apps at the same time. This is not going to happen. The apps which don't work well under Vista/7 (including ones from Microsoft : bad form, there) are ones that didn't follow the guidelines anyway. Excessive numbers of prompts from UAC are also there because apps are poorly written - other prompts that previously weren't there are now included as they should be there (admin level changes).

    Vista was actually stricter than 7 in some areas. 7 has been dumbed down, and if anyone has any sense they'll be running as a standard user with the UAC on high (enter password for all admin level changes).

    For the idiots who go off into 'Ubuntu is lovely' lala land, note that Unix is still shit, just in different areas. X really needs a bit of an overhaul - it's not stunningly secure, just like windowing in Windows. When OpenBSD did the opposite to Microsoft's fault tolerant heap and enforced a strict heap, many apps fell over, including some quite old ones. OpenBSD is a good OS, but Theo et al have a lot more freedom to change it than Windows (Can you imagine the outcry if Microsoft did the strict heap change, or indeed the wholesale pf syntax change?)

    Unix has many features that are designed well, but don't pretend it's a panacea.

  29. Paul Hates Handles

    People who write "M$"...

    ...need a punch in the face. Even with the quotes I myself should receive a mild backhand.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Working OK

    The bittorrent W7 with the activation hack I put on my missus's old Thunkpad works really well and she is pleased with it No problems at all. Recommended!.

    Written on my Mac...

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