The reports that Microsoft will soon deliver the first service packs of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 seem likely to be true, judging by a recently leaked version of Windows 7 Service Pack 1.
Service packs provide Microsoft with the opportunity to package together bug fixes and security fixes (which have typically been previously delivered piece-wise to consumers over Windows Update). They also provide a place for Microsoft to deliver new content. As Microsoft's retail releases come less frequently than those of its chief competitor Apple, Service Packs are crucial to Microsoft's OSs having a healthy lifecycle.
The recently leaked build has the id 6.1.7601.16537.amd64fre.win7.100327-0053, which indicates that it was compiled on March 27 on an AMD 64-bit processor. The build is easy to find on torrent sites and is a quick install, but it has not yet been determined whether it contains fully working versions of Windows 7 SP1's biggest expected improvements -- USB 3.0 support and refined versions of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Microsoft has sold over 90 millions Windows 7 licenses to date, making it the fastest selling operating system to date. Critically acclaimed, the new OS has done much to dispel the stereotype among some consumers that Microsoft makes ugly, unresponsive, or buggy operating systems, which some customers have long insisted to be true. The OS has jumped to over 10 percent market share since its release on October 22, 2009.
Windows 7 SP1 is expected to land sometime in September of this year, with a beta build in June.
Microsoft is reportedly stepping up its development cycle and is currently building early test builds of the Windows 7 successor, Windows 8. Sources at Microsoft and leaked roadmaps indicate that the new operating system will be released sometime next year. Contractors who have worked with the upcoming product have bragged that it is "revolutionary" and unlike past versions of Windows.