Many IT managers swear by the following rule: never deploy a version of Windows until the first service pack has been released. That way you can be sure that any huge bugs have been resolved before committing to the new platform.

However, in the case of Windows 7, Microsoft is hoping that you'll throw caution to the wind and roll it out anyway. And given the lack of drama emanating from early adopters - true deal-breaker bugs have been few and far between with Windows 7 - some techies will be tempted to ignore their thumbs for a change and take a chance on the RTM build.

However, for the majority of Microsoft's corporate customers, the 'wait until SP1' mentality will prevail (once burned, twice shy), which is why they'll be happy to learn that the first inklings of a public SP1 beta program are beginning to emerge.

For example, bloggers have discovered some hidden registry keys related to a download prequalification check associated with an as-yet-unreleased SP1 build. And others have posted a leaked list of post-RTM build numbers that would seem to indicate a continued evolution of the Windows 7 code base - a good sign that Microsoft is hard at work on an update.

Small business IT advice

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