| By Susan Bradley |
Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is out. But does that mean you need to install it?
For those who just bought a brand-new PC, install it. For those who are running an existing Windows 7? You’ll need it, just not for several months.
Clarification on when PCs should receive SP1
In the previous issue, Windows Secrets wrote about the release of Windows 7’s first major update — Service Pack 1. Both Woody Leonhard’s story, “What you need to know about Windows 7 SP1,” and the lead item, “Preparation patches for Win7 SP1 more important,” in my Patch Watch column recommended holding off on installing SP1.
However, several readers took us to task for failing to note that our advice was targeted at PC users who already have Windows 7 installed. Our readers’ point: If you are setting up a brand-new personal computer, you want to apply Service Pack 1 as soon as possible. Doing so leapfrogs the numerous patches Microsoft has released for Windows 7 since it first shipped.
I agree wholeheartedly.
The best application for Windows 7 SP1 is updating a new PC; the next-best application is refreshing a Win7 system by reinstalling the OS from scratch. (Many of my friends do this every quarter with their Windows XP machines as a way to restore some of XP’s original performance. XP systems often seem to gradually slow down over years, even months, of use. Fortunately, Windows 7 does not appear to have this problem.)