A search for ‘Win 7 SP1’ on Google News will turn up articles saying that Windows 7 Service Pack 1 just got released to computer manufacturers. It’s not surprising that there should be some hype surrounding the release, which is not yet available to current users of the OS. Some are even taking big risks to install the update and be on the ‘cutting edge’.
Why all the hype? Most enthusiasts and power users probably remember when Windows XP Service Pack 2 came out, loaded with new features. While service packs sometimes do come with new features, the vast majority of them don’t. Microsoft releases service packs to manufacturers so that new computers don’t have to sit there and download updates for hours on end after you plug them in, and that’s their primary purpose. A service pack is almost always just a roll-up of updates previously released to current users through Windows Update.
But don’t try to tell the boring truth to the users who are taking big risks to obtain SP1. Downloads are cropping up all over illegitimate sites, peer-to-peer networks and BitTorrent. While many enthusiasts will spend loads of time and money to be on the ‘cutting edge’, downloading SP1 from an illegitimate source will probably only leave your computer hurt and bleeding. While most of the bootleg copies of SP1 that are floating around the internet are the real thing, some of them have been compromised by hackers and spammers looking to gain access to your computer. Downloading SP1 from an unofficial source simply isn’t worth the risk.
So if you’re using Windows 7, it’s nothing to worry about. You already have 95% of SP1 installed on your computer, courtesy of Windows Update. The other 5% will more than likely make no visible or detectable difference to your computer.