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Service Pack 1
Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) was announced on March 18, 2010. A beta was released on July 12, 2010. The final version was released to the public on February 22, 2011.At the time of release, it was not made mandatory. It was available via Windows Update, direct download, or by ordering the Windows 7 SP1 DVD. The service pack is on a much smaller scale than those released for previous versions of Windows, particularly Windows Vista.
Windows 7 Service Pack 1 adds support for Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX), a 256-bit instruction set extension for processors, and improves IKEv2 by adding additional identification fields such as E-mail ID to it. In addition, it adds support for Advanced Format 512e as well as additional Identity Federation Services. Windows 7 Service Pack 1 also resolves a bug related to HDMI audio and another related to printing XPS documents.
In Europe, the automatic nature of the BrowserChoice.eu feature was dropped in Windows 7 Service Pack 1 in February 2011 and remained absent for 14 months despite Microsoft reporting that it was still present, subsequently described by Microsoft as a "technical error". As a result, in March 2013 the European Commission fined Microsoft €561 million to deter companies from reneging on settlement promises.
Windows Management Framework 5.0
Windows Management Framework 5.0 includes updates to Windows PowerShell, Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC), Windows Remote Management (WinRM), Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI). It was released on February 24, 2016.
Platform Update for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 was released on February 26, 2013 after a pre-release version had been released on November 5, 2012. It is also included with Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7.
It includes enhancements to Direct2D, DirectWrite, Direct3D, Windows Imaging Component (WIC), Windows Advanced Rasterization Platform (WARP), Windows Animation Manager (WAM), XPS Document API, H.264 Video Decoder and JPEG XR decoder.However support for Direct3D 11.1 is limited as the update does not include DXGI/WDDM 1.2 from Windows 8, making unavailable many related APIs and significant features such as stereoscopic frame buffer, feature level 11_1 and optional features for levels 10_0, 10_1 and 11_0.
Disk Cleanup update
In October 2013, a Disk Cleanup Wizard addon was released that lets users delete outdated Windows updates on Windows 7 SP1, thus reducing the size of the WinSxS directory. This update backports some features found in Windows 8.
In May 2016, Microsoft released a "Convenience rollup update for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1", which contains all patches released between the release of SP1 and April 2016. The rollup is not available via Windows Update, and must be downloaded manually. This package can also be integrated into a Windows 7 installation image.
Since October 2016, all security and reliability updates are cumulative. As such, downloading and installing updates that address individual problems is no longer possible. However, after installing Windows, users need only download a handful of updates, as opposed to several hundred.
Windows 7 is available in six different editions, of which the Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate were available at retail in most countries, and as pre-loaded software on new computers. Home Premium and Professional were aimed at home users and small businesses respectively, while Ultimate was aimed at enthusiasts. Each edition of Windows 7 includes all of the capabilities and features of the edition below it, and adds additional features oriented towards their market segments; for example, Professional adds additional networking and security features such as Encrypting File System and the ability to join a domain. Ultimate contained a superset of the features from Home Premium and Professional, along with other advanced features oriented towards power users, such as BitLocker drive encryption; unlike Windows Vista, there were no "Ultimate Extras" add-ons created for Windows 7 Ultimate.Retail copies were available in "upgrade" and higher-cost "full" version licenses; "upgrade" licenses require an existing version of Windows to install, while "full" licenses can be installed on computers with no existing operating system.
The remaining three editions were not available at retail, of which two were available exclusively through OEM channels as pre-loaded software. The Starter edition is a stripped-down version of Windows 7 meant for low-cost devices such asnetbooks. In comparison to Home Premium, Starter has reduced multimedia functionality, does not allow users to change their desktop wallpaper or theme, disables the "Aero Glass" theme, does not have support for multiple monitors, and can only address 2GB of RAM.Home Basic was sold only in emerging markets, and was positioned in between Home Premium and Starter.The highest edition, Enterprise, is functionally similar to Ultimate, but is only sold throughvolume licensing via Microsoft's Software Assurance program.
All editions aside from Starter support both IA-32 and x86-64 architectures; Starter only supports 32-bit systems. Retail copies of Windows 7 are distributed on two DVDs: one for the IA-32 version and the other for x86-64. OEM copies include one DVD, depending on the processor architecture licensed. The installation media for consumer versions of Windows 7 are identical; the product key and corresponding license determines the edition that is installed. The Windows Anytime Upgrade service can be used to purchase an upgrade that unlocks the functionality of a higher edition, such as going from Starter to Home Premium, and Home Premium to Ultimate.Most copies of Windows 7 only contained one license; in certain markets, a "Family Pack" version of Windows 7 Home Premium was also released for a limited time, which allowed upgrades on up to three computers. In certain regions, copies of Windows 7 were only sold in, and could only be activated in a designated region.
Minimum hardware requirements for Windows 7
|Component||Operating system architecture|
|Processor||1 GHz IA-32 processor||1 GHz x86-64 processor|
|Memory (RAM)||1 GB||2 GB|
|Graphics card||DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM driver model 1.0|
|Free hard drive space||16 GB||20 GB|
|Optical drive||DVD-ROM drive (Only to install from DVD-ROM media)|
Additional requirements to use certain features:
Windows XP Mode (Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise): Requires an additional 1 GB of RAM and additional 15 GB of available hard disk space. The requirement for a processor capable of hardware virtualization has been lifted.
Windows Media Center (included in Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise), requires a TV tuner to receive and record TV.
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