Some of you may recall the leaking of several Windows 7 SP1 (Service Pack 1) builds prior to the final release of Windows 7. Naturally, those leaks — some as far back as June 2009 — sparked a lot of speculation as to the quality bar Windows 7 would RTM at. I mean, just prior to Windows 7′s final build, you start seeing SP1 builds and you can’t help but wonder if they’re in preparation to fix things they knew would be off-center in the final build, right? Well, sort of.
In light of an entry I recently stumbled upon on LinkedIn, I believe I’ve found the missing link which makes sense of the whole thing. And now that I’ve seen it, I can’t help but think to myself, “duh!” Okay, for starters, look at the build string in the following image:
Long story short, there were no crazy bug fixes starting to happen that Windows 7 RTM wouldn’t see. Those SP1 builds were compiled simply to test Windows 7′s service pack technologies and experience! I and so many others like me really looked waaaay too far ahead into what those builds could have possibly meant — only to miss the simplest (and most likely, I might add) of possibilities: Microsoft preparing and testing service pack technologies and processes.
In addition to the revelation above, there are farther-reaching implications this person on LinkedIn has made us privy to. To quote:
Efforts lead to an unprecedented state of servicing readiness for Windows. Windows 7 Service Pack technologies, processes & builds were ready over a year before release compared to Vista and previous OSes which did not reach that state of servicing readiness and quality for months after release.
Aside from stating the obvious, with the time it took to complete Windows 7, I suppose Windows 7 SP1 will also exceed expectations. And that’s a good thing.
Finally, there is also mention of Windows 8 planning:
Planning servicing quality goals, metrics, processes, and tools & technologies for Windows 8.
Good comedy would be to see a Windows 8 SP1 build leak prior to even a Windows 8 Milestone 1 build! At that point, I would have to say they were getting a bit *too* far ahead of the game, wouldn’t you? Anyway, I just thought I would share my findings and attempt to explain away some of the confusion created by those SP1 builds previously.