But don't get too excited: the beta of Service Pack 1 won't offer any new features -- or even any new bug fixes, admits the company.
Announced at the company's TechEd conference in New Orleans, the beta version of Service Pack 1 (or SP1) carries more symbolic weight than actual patched code, reports CNET. Instead it lumps together previously released patches and updates into one umbrella update.
The conventional wisdom for a new operating system suggests skipping the first release and holding out for Service Pack 1, which should fix any outstanding bugs or issues discovered by those willing to install and use first-generation software.
Despite widespread claims that Windows 7 was incredibly stable, many users -- and especially many businesses, which are traditionally more cautious than consumers -- have probably been holding off on upgrading their employees pending this milestone.
They shouldn't have, says Microsoft.
"SP1 will not contain any new features that are specific to Windows 7 itself," admitted Microsoft's Gavriella Schuster in a post to the company's blog.
Instead, she wrote, "SP1 will simply be the combination of updates already available through Windows Update and additional hotfixes based on feedback by our customers and partners."
The most notable addition to SP1 will be an updated Remote Desktop client designed to work with RemoteFX, the new remote-access platform set to debut in SP1 for Windows Server 2008 R2, which will also reach public beta next month, reports ComputerWorld.
Microsoft did not release a date for the final version of the Service Pack.