A build of Microsoft's Windows 7 Service Pack 1 has leaked onto the Web, allowing users to download it from a torrent site. According to reports, the service pack has been downloaded "thousands of times."
Microsoft can't be happy that its service pack has leaked. The company is notoriously tight-lipped about updates to its software. But the fact that it's available should make some wonder if it's even necessary for users to install it before they start using Windows 7.
In the past, waiting until a service pack was released was typically the best move when it came to Windows. Windows XP was substantially improved when Microsoft delivered the first service pack. Windows Vista enjoyed similar results when its service pack was released.
But Windows 7 is a different story altogether. It doesn't have the kind of issues that XP and Vista did when they first hit store shelves. It's a robust operating system that can be relied on even before the first service pack is released. Simply put, users who are on the fence about Windows 7 shouldn't wait for Service Pack 1.
Here are the reasons why:
1. It'll be a small update
According to Microsoft, Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 will be a small update. That's rather interesting news. In previous versions of Windows, the company has released substantial updates to the software that addressed major issues with how the OS performed. Because of that, most folks believed (rightfully so) that it would be a better idea to wait for the first service pack before they jumped to the new operating system. But all that has changed. As the company pointed out in a recent blog post, Windows 7 Service Pack 1 "includes only minor updates." In other words, it won't mean much.
2. Windows 7 is quite secure
Some users like to wait for a service pack because of the inherent security woes a Windows installation suffers from at launch. But in an unlikely departure from past events, Windows 7 is actually quite secure when compared with its predecessors. In fact, the operating system boasts most of the security features found in Windows Vista, plus some extras thrown in. It's widely considered one of the most secure operating systems Microsoft has put out. Service Pack 1 will undoubtedly deliver security improvements, but Windows 7 is secure already.
3. Windows XP mode
A key feature in more capable versions of Windows 7 is Windows XP mode. If users are concerned that Windows 7 doesn't have all the security fixes that they're looking for and they trust Windows XP more than any other Windows installation, they can opt to run a virtual install of Windows XP right in Windows 7. It's one of the better features Microsoft has added to its operating system in a long time. And it substantially improves Windows 7's attraction to those who plan to wait for Service Pack 1.
4. It's not Vista
Microsoft has made it abundantly clear, both in its marketing and the design of its software, that Windows 7 is nothing like Vista. When Windows Vista first hit store shelves, it made sense for customers to wait until Microsoft ironed out its issues with Service Pack 1. But Vista was also rife with compatibility and security issues just don't apply to Windows 7. Although Windows 7 isn't a perfect operating system by any means, it does provide a far more robust experience than Vista. As troubling as its predecessor was, Windows 7 shouldn't be feared the way Vista is feared.