Windows 7 SP1 Beta Available for Download. Better News: You Don't Need It

If you've been anxiously awaiting the release of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 because historically, a new version of Windows wasn't fully baked until the first service pack came out, I have some good news for you. You can now install the public beta of SP1 from TechNet.

The installation clocks in around 530MB, and you can choose to install it via a Windows Update or by grabbing an ISO file which you can burn to CD.

On the other hand, you don't need to bother. Signaling a significant change in strategy, the last few service packs for Windows have essentially been a roll-up of existing updates, and contained no new features or functionality. Windows 7 SP1 is no different, so if you're already fully patched, there's nothing here for you. You can wait for SP1 to be officially released and get it through Windows Updates.