I noticed today when completing the updates for the second Tuesday of March on my laptop that Service Pack 1 for Windows 7/2008R2 was included. Since I am curious just to see what is noticably new here I was more than happy to load it and see what I got. I realize that being a service pack early adopter could put me in the “Nuke and Pave” scenario of having to rebuild, but oh well…. that is a risk many geeks take with a grain of salt.
Checking for compatibility
One new thing I noticed is that the SP installer checks currently installed applications for compatability with the service pack. This is definitely new (or at least newly advertised). Because of this compatibility check, the installation failed. It said that an application was not compatible and stopped before problems were caused.
The incompatible application was Security Essentials. So following the instructions provided, mainly telling me to make sure the incompatible items were at their latest version, I tried to update Security Essentials. The application is as up to date as I can get it which means I have to wait until a later version is released to move to SP1.
I realize that the Security Essentials team and the Windows / Service Pack teams are different and that getting the post SP1 release of Security Essentials will likely allow me to load the service pack, but allowing the update for the application that fails the service pack to be requested by the process would be a pretty sweet feature.
Speeding the process
Allowing the Service Pack installation or compatibility checker to get the latest (or newer than latest) version of a Microsoft application to rectify the problem and allow the service pack to complete would be yet another improvement to the service pack process. I think the compatibility check is a huge step in the right direction, but correcting the issues that hold up the process would be pretty amazing and innovative too.