After making them available to TechNet subscribers last month, Microsoft has released betas of Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 to the general public.
This is the same version of the update that was previously released, so don't expect any new features or fixes. In fact, users of the company's consumer OS who have been keeping up with the monthly security updates won't see any notable changes at all. Windows 7 SP1 is largely a collection of fixes and updates previously made available through Windows Update.
Server users will of course get all of the patches, but will see a few new features as well. The most important are dynamic memory support for virtual machines and the introduction of RemoteFX for enhanced desktop virtualisation.
A Texas-based researcher claimed he had discovered that about 40 different Windows apps, including the Windows shell, suffer from a critical vulnerability that could open up users to attacks by hackers. The flaw was originally discovered in iTunes for Windows, and was patched by Apple four months ago with iTunes 9.1.
Rapid7 chief security officer HD Moore detailed his findings to Computerworld in an interview on Wednesday. He said a wide range of applications are affected, and it was found while looking into another flaw involving Windows shortcuts, which Microsoft patched in an emergency update.
The flaw exists in how the programs handle malformed DLLs. While the methods to trigger the hole differ slightly from application to application, execution causes the hole to open which allows the hacker to execute arbitrary code and/or install malware on the infected machine.
On Thursday, August 19th, Microsoft will release an updated engine for their Microsoft Security Essentials software. The Engine Version will be in the range of 1.1.610X. This release is to address the latest in the threat landscape. Forefront Client Security will also benefit from the engine update.
Today is earnings day and Windows continues to have a strong showing. We announced a new milestone in Windows 7 sales - 175 million copies. This continues our record breaking pace of more than 7 copies sold per second. And as of today – Windows 7 is now running on more than 16% of all PCs worldwide. It's exciting to see this kind of response from customers who have helped make Windows 7 the fastest selling operating system in history. We are also seeing some strong momentum with businesses for Windows 7. The PC “refresh cycle” for businesses has accelerated and we recorded the second straight quarter of double digital business license growth. And with Internet Explorer, IE8 is now the fastest growing and most popular web browser in the market and we have IE9 coming!
This strong momentum isn't limited to Microsoft - in fact we're seeing strong growth across the tech industry. Last week we highlighted a recent IDC press release that illustrated the growth of the global PC market - more than 22.4% year-over-year for the second quarter of 2010. Intel reported its best quarter ever with second quarter revenue up 34% year-over-year. And AMD reported a whopping 40% growth year-over-year in its earnings release, due to record sales of their chips for notebook computers. It's great to see this kind of growth across the PC ecosystem and we're pleased to be part of this growth with Windows 7.
We have always pursued innovative projects because we want to drive breakthroughs in computer science that dramatically improve our users’ lives. Last year at Google I/O, when we launched our developer preview of Google Wave, a web app for real time communication and collaboration, it set a high bar for what was possible in a web browser. We showed character-by-character live typing, and the ability to drag-and-drop files from the desktop, even “playback” the history of changes—all within a browser. Developers in the audience stood and cheered. Some even waved their laptops.
We were equally jazzed about Google Wave internally, even though we weren’t quite sure how users would respond to this radically different kind of communication. The use cases we’ve seen show the power of this technology: sharing images and other media in real time; improving spell-checking by understanding not just an individual word, but also the context of each word; and enabling third-party developers to build new tools like consumer gadgets for travel, or robots to check code.
The latest operating system market-share figures are in, and the news is good for fans of Windows 7, and ho-hum for Mac OS X aficionados.
Since its release last October, Windows 7's star has been steadily rising — and this July it passed the lamentable Windows Vista to become the world's number-two OS, according to stats from the market watchers at Net Applications.