One of the key features of Windows Home Server will be to allow users to easily connect to their home server when they are away from home. By default, the Remote Access capabilities will be turned off, but they will be easy to setup once a user decides that they want to enable this feature.
Remote Access is granted on a per user basis, as defined in the Windows Home Server Console, and any user that has remote access capabilties will need a strong password defined for their user account. You can then use these user accounts to connect to your home server over the internet.
Once connected to your home server, you will be greeted with a straightforward user interface lets you do the following:
This means that you can not only connect to your home server, but you can also remotely connect and use your home computers all through a single solution.
We have been working closely with the Windows Live Domains team to provide users a personalized internet address to their home server as part of the Remote Access setup feature. This functionality is not part of the Beta 2 release, but it is being actively tested by our Microsoft dogfooders and will be made available to the broader beta community in a subsequent development milestone.
We sent out another 10,000 Beta 2 invites and in less that 4 hours over 5,000 people have activated their Connect account for Windows Home Server. We still have a backlog of people that want to get into the beta and we would love to get everybody in ... we are inviting people in batches so we can handle the issues that people have with getting access, downloading, and the initial feedback that the new participants provide.
Thanks to everyone for all of the great feedback, bug reports and suggestions via the Connect site. One request from the product team is to please search the bugs & suggestions on the Windows Home Server Connect site prior to submitting a new bug or suggestion. As it takes us time to resolve the duplicates, and we would prefer to have everyone voting and ranking the same bug and adding their comments to that bug so that we can easily understand what our beta testers think is the most important bug or suggestion.
In addition to the lively dialogue and valuable input on the Home Server Forum, a lot of people are starting to share their beta 2 experiences out in the blogosphere (Sorry...I think many of us dislike that term, but as everyone's favorite technophile Britney Spears says, "It is what it is.")
We Got Served in the UK and The Hive provide regular play-by-plays of their evaluations. Chris Szurgot's blog notes how pleasantly easy Home Server is to set up and maintain. A number of people are setting up dedicated blogs, too, such as mshomeserver.org Great to know Home Server Beta 2 is getting the full "Journey Treatment," i.e. plenty of Lovin', Touchin' and Squeezin'.
That's right, I quoted Britney and cheese rock icon Journey in one post. Hey, it's Friday. We're well over 40,000 requests to join now...