Microsoft recently released an anticipated update to its Windows Service Pack Blocker Tool to include Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1. The Blocker Tool allows IT admins (and other Windows Techies) to block Service Packs from being installed on machines either in a network or separately for up to one year after the Service Pack has been officially released.

Although it’s still in Release Candidate form, some users the release of the Service Pack Blocker Tool signals the soon-to-be release of Windows 7 Service Pack 1. In fact, according to WinRumors, past Microsoft historyhas shown that Windows 7 SP1 should be released some time in January. On average, Microsoft would release the Blocker Tool about two months prior to the official release of the Service Pack.

Users can currently download both the Windows Service Pack Blocker Tool and the Release Candidate for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 now from the Microsoft download section. There’s not a whole lot of news going on with SP1, with the exception of RemoteFX, which will add 3D graphical functionality for users using the OS remotely.

I’ll hopefully have a bit more written up on both the Blocker Tool and Service Pack 1 as it comes closer to its ship date. For now, however, there’s just not a whole lot to talk about. This, of course, is a good thing because Service Packs are supposed to be simple roll-ups of updates that make IT admins jobs a little easier to install updates at one single time. If you’ve installed Windows 7 recently, you’ll find that there are well over fifty updates that you will need to install, having a service pack with all of those updates rolled up into it, eases the pain just a little.

Essentially, the days of jaw-dropping UI and functionality changes that were present in Windows XP Service Pack 2 (you know, the one with the whopping security updates that introduced Security Center and a new firewall?) appear to be long gone. Good riddance, I say.