Since the announcement of Windows Home Server RTM (Release to Manufacturing) in July, the team and our hardware partners have been aggressively gearing up for the final retail availability of solutions powered by Windows Home Server, slated for this Fall and in time for the holidays. We’ve received a substantial amount of positive feedback from the media, analysts, reviewers and our 100,000+ beta customer community who have been using the software. Also, as anticipated, the Windows Home Server system builder version is currently available through the system builder channel in many countries, and expected in U.S. in early September.
We’ve identified a number of ways to make the product even better since the initial release, As with most Microsoft products, updates to Windows Home Server will be automatically available throughout the lifecycle of the product and the WHS team is working on an update that will be available in September. These updates will enhance the usability and improve the out-of-the-box experience of home server solutions. Additional updates will occur over the lifespan of the product as we receive feedback from the user community, our hardware partners and software partners. Microsoft’s current plan is to make this update available as part of the monthly Windows Updates process in September.
HP has decided to include these first software updates in their MediaSmart Server. Both HP and Microsoft believe that these updates are in the best interest of potential customers and will insure the best out-of-the-box experience. All of our Windows Home Server partners and customers will automatically receive the update once posted to Windows Update.
Windows Home Server has come a long way from its inception, and we’re excited to deliver an integrated product that delivers on its full range of features, and is easy for everyone in the family to use and enjoy.
First, a little German lesson.
I'm in Berlin to talk to press and partners about Windows Home Server at "IFA" a huge consumer electronics show. Apparently IFA is bigger than even CES.
What a gorgeous city! The weather certainly has something to do with it, but so far I found Berlin to be one of the most attractive European cities I've visited. It has a great modern feel while still feeling very "historical". I got to see the "wall" last night and ate dinner on the roof of the Reichstag (the seat of the German government). Had a bit of the beer that is my namesake (my great-great-grandfather was named Kindl and when he emigrated to the US the "e" was added at Ellis Island).
Today we had a press event at the Microsoft Showroom. Fijitsu Siemens, Medion, and MaxData were showing off their Windows Home Server powered products. The designs of these units are pretty cool! Tonight it's back to the Microsoft Showroom for more PR activities and then tomorrow we attend the IFA show proper.
On Saturday we are going to watch a Bundesliga (the German professional soccerfootball league) match (Hertha BSC Berlin v. Wolfsberg) at the Olympic Stadium. It will be my first live European football match and I am really excited.
With the closing of the Code2Fame Challenge for Windows Home Server, the Connect site has been updated so that beta participants can no longer download the Release Candidate (RC) version of the software. Beta testers will be able to continue to use the beta product keys they downloaded from the Connect site, but we will not be issuing any more product keys for the RC software.
The System Builder version of Windows Home Server is already available in some countries, with additional countries expected to come online in the coming weeks. Additionally, a 120-day Evaluation Edition will be orderable from the Windows Home Server product pages for a cost recovery basis to cover shipping and handling in the next 4-6 weeks.
In the future, the Windows Home Server team will continue to use the Connect site for interacting with the Windows Home Server community by releasing additional items that we want people to get an early look at. All of the suggestions submitted by the community will continue to exist, as we are busy digging through all of the great ideas as we start planning the next release of Windows Home Server.
Please check back at the Windows Home Server Connect site from time to time to see if there is additional stuff to download and test. Thanks again for all of the great feedback!!!t.