Today, Microsoft released Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) to manufacturing and announced that it will be available to customers on February 22, 2011.

Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 enables sophisticated desktop virtualization capabilities that build on the comprehensive virtualization functionality already included in the Windows Server operating system. Specifically as a result of customer feedback, Microsoft has enabled:

  • RemoteFX allowing customers to virtualize the Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) on the server side and deliver next-generation rich media and 3D user experiences for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). RemoteFX enables new ultra-thin client devices to enter the market, and together these technologies will drive down the end-point cost and reduce endpoint power consumption to as little as a few watts.
  • Dynamic Memory - a, built-in feature of Hyper-V - allows customers to increase their virtual machine density, using the resources they already have, without sacrificing performance or scalability. Dynamic Memory allows admins to improve the usage of physical memory in the system and increase virtual machine density, providing more flexibility and therefore reducing cost. In lab testing with SP1, Microsoft has seen a 40% increase in density from Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM to SP1, simply by enabling Dynamic Memory.

Customers in early adopter deployments are already realizing real business value from using both RemoteFX and Dynamic Memory in SP1. Some examples include:

  • Sporton International deployed Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, to better allocate virtual memory and enrich desktop virtualization. By using Dynamic Memory, Sporton has increased the number of virtual machines per server by 25 to 75%; with RemoteFX, it expects to expand the use of virtual desktops.
  • EmpireCLS upgraded to Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 to take advantage of improvements in memory management and virtual desktop computing. With its new lean, virtualized data center and desktop environment, EmpireCLS has attained seven-nines server uptime, which is critical in providing top-notch customer service. It has also cut employee support calls by 75%, increased IT staff productivity by 35%, reduced its server infrastructure by more than 50%, and reduced power costs by 33%.

For more information on today's announcement, check out posts on the Windows Server and Virtualization team blogs. For more details on Windows 7 SP1, check out the Windows for your Business blog. Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 will be generally available on February 22 through Windows Update and the Microsoft Download Center.