A number of readers have asked me this week why I've not touched on the recent leak of an early build of Windows 7 Service Pack 1. It's a fair question. I know that Microsoft plans to add little in the way of interesting functional updates in Windows 7 SP1 (whereas the server version is a far different story). But that's no excuse. So I downloaded the leaked build and am installing it now on a physical PC. I'll do a VM-based install as well and take some screenshots.

And there is some documentation that accompanies this build (6.1.7601.16537), which was made on March 27, 2070 and can be considered a pre-beta version. It notes:

Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 will include previously released updates.

The impact of SP1 on the Windows 7 client operating system is considered to be minimal. Included changes are expected to address minor usability issues in specific scenarios. While Microsoft always recommends that users deploy the latest service pack as quickly as possible in order to maintain the best levels of support, security and user experience, we are strongly recommending to customers and partners that deployment of SP1 should not be considered a blocking issue for the adoption of Windows 7. In other words, organizations do not need to wait for SP1 to begin receiving the value of Windows 7 today as we don’t anticipate the SP1 for Windows 7 to be substantial.

Changes specific to Windows 7

Additional support for communication with third-party federation services
Additional support has been added to allow Windows 7 clients to effectively communicate with third-party identity federation services (those supporting the WS-Federation passive profile protocol). This change enhances platform interoperability, and improves the ability to communicate identity and authentication information between organizations.

Improved HDMI audio device performance
A small percentage of users have reported issues in which the connection between a computer running Windows 7 an HDMI audio device is lost after a system reboot. Updates have been incorporated into SP1 to ensure that connections between Windows 7 computers and HDMI audio devices are consistently maintained.

Corrected behavior when printing mixed-orientation XPS documents
Prior to the release of SP1, some customers have reported difficulty when printing mixed-orientation XPS documents (documents containing pages in both portrait and landscape orientation) using the XPS Viewer, resulting in all pages being printed entirely in either portrait or landscape mode. This issue has been addressed in SP1, allowing users to correctly print mixed-orientation documents using the XPS Viewer.

Changes common to both client and server platforms

More efficient power consumption
SP1 introduces functionality that enables user-mode use of the invariant Time Stamp Counter (TSC). When utilized by application workloads such as SQL Server, the invariant-TSC provides a high resolution multimedia timer (necessary for functionality such as OLTP, data warehouse processing, and so on) at far greater power efficiency than previously available alternatives.

Change to behavior of "Restore previous folders at logon" functionality
SP1 changes the behavior of the “Restore previous folders at logon” function available in the Folder Options Explorer dialog. Prior to SP1, previous folders would be restored in a cascaded position based on the location of the most recently active folder. SP1 changes that behavior so that all folders are restored to their previous position.

Enhanced support for additional identities in RRAS and IPsec
Support for additional identification types has been added to the Identification field in the IKEv2 authentication protocol. This allows for a variety of additional forms of identification (such as E-mail ID or Certificate Subject) to be used when performing authentication using the IKEv2 protocol.

I'll have some screenshots and, if necessary, my notes available a bit later.