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Windows Home Server - Announcing Power Pack 2

Windows Home Server - Announcing Power Pack 2

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We are pleased to announce Windows Home Server Power Pack 2.  Power Pack 2 fixes known issues and adds new features to improve the Windows Home Server experience.  Enhancements include: Improvements to remote access configuration, enhanced functionality for computers running Windows Media Center, and content streaming support for Windows Media Center Extenders.  Power Pack 2 adds Italian language support on new home servers.

Power Pack 2 will be made available via Windows Update.  Users need to have Windows Home Server with Power Pack 1 already installed on their home server. Power Pack 2 will automatically install as part of Windows Update if Automatic Updates is enabled on the home server.  (How to turn on automatic updates.)  The English version release date is March 24th.  Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Spanish is currently scheduled to be available before the end of April. 

Overview of enhancements:

Remote Access

· The Remote Access Settings page is redesigned to make it easier to use.

· A Web-hosted diagnostic service is used to more accurately test if remote connectivity is available from outside the home network.

· New and improved initial configuration and repair wizards, as well as better troubleshooting guidance for common home networking issues that can prevent Remote Access from working properly.

Remote Access Disabled

Windows Home Server Console - Remote access settings

Remote Access Configrating Complete

Windows Home Server Console – Configuring remote access

Remote Access Configrating Error Suggestions

Windows Home Server Console – Troubleshooting guidance

Media Sharing & Windows Media Center

When the Windows Home Server Connector software is installed or updated on a Windows Media Center computer, the next time a user starts Windows Media Center they will be prompted to install the Windows Media Center Connector.  

· Windows Media Center computers will automatically have access to content stored in shared folders on the home server.  Music, Photos, Videos, and Recorded TV folders are enabled by default.

· Windows Media Center Extenders can access and stream multimedia content stored on the home server.  Access permission can be granted on an individual folder basis.

· Windows Home Server now supports streaming MP4 files, a popular format for high quality multimedia, to Xbox 360 and other devices that support the MP4 format.  Metadata such as title, artist, composer, album, and genre now appears in the music or video library.

Media Center Home Server Add-in found

Windows Media Center – Windows Media Center Connector installation reminder

MCE install

Windows Media Center Connector – Installation wizard

MCE install 2

Windows Media Center Connector – Installation wizard

MCE User Access

Windows Home Server Console – Configuring Windows Media Center Extender access

HomeServer Videos

Windows Media Center – Videos folder on Windows Home Server

For additional information, please read the Power Pack 2 Release Documentation.

It is very rewarding for our team to deliver another update for Windows Home Server.  We continue to hear fantastic feedback from our customers about how Windows Home Server is helping them protect and organize their digital media, access it away from home, and share it with friends and family. Thank you to our beta testers and partners for helping us ship Power Pack 2, and to the Windows Home Server community as a whole, for its ongoing support and enthusiasm.

The Windows Home Server Team

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  • Thank you!  Keep up the excellent work.  Can't wait to see what is next.

  • Thank you for a wonderful product. Please bear with me as I get this short rant out of the way...

    It tortures me that Microsoft continues to ignore the existence of the .mkv file format. What's the logic? Why not just be able to play everything? Even with a splitter installed, .mkv files will not play on a Media Center Extender, and they can't be added or sorted (via metadata) in the Media Center or Media Player libraries. This cripples the functionality of what would otherwise be a fantastic container, one that is seeing growing support (moreso than mp4) in the video enthusiast community, and one that has recently been adopted by DivX as their new "it works anywhere" format. Grr, grr, and grr again.

    But back to reality, the WHS team is truly making the world a better place. Thanks.

  • Windows Home Server Power Pack 2 and TechNet/MSDN downloads available

  • The Windows Home Server Team announced today Power Pack 2 . The English version of Power Pack 2 will

  • Endlich ist es soweit: Das "Power Pack 2" für den Windows Home Server (WHS) darf endlich das Licht der Öffentlichkeit erblicken! Neben den vielen allgemeinen neuen WHS Funktionalitäten wie der überarbeitete Remote Access (Konfiguration und Handhabung)

  • Windows Home Server är kanske vårt mest okända operativsystem. Det levereras på speciella hemmaservrar

  • Coming with many fixes and new features, Windows Home Server Power Pack 2 is available for download. The Windows Home Server user experience will be definitely improved through the enhancements...

  • It is hugely pleasing to see tighter integration between WHS and WMC.  I do sincerely hope that this is not the end of the story (I appreciate that PP2 is minor update so I was not expecting the world).  

    From my perspective, enabling WHS to host the Media Center experience would be enormously beneficial as it would reduce energy costs (WHS runs 24*7 & HTPC WMC runs whenever an extender is on) and make planning home media environments much easier.

    I think it would increase the value proposition of WHS tremendously, offer amazing promotional opportunities, bring more partners to the table (both vendors of WHS and Extender technology) and would not, in my opinion, detract from the value of Windows Vista/7.

    I hope that as future builds of WHS are likely to be based on the Vista/7/Windows Server 2008 stack then this may become a possibility.

  • O Power Pack 2 para Windows Home Server (um service pack com um nome diferente), ficou disponível hoje

  • I created an account just to say thank you! Last night I copied over all of my videos from my local media center machine to the home server. I planned to find a way to have media center serve the videos from the home server onto the 360 extender. With PP2 you made this a hands off approach! I'm loving the updates, keep them coming. You made what was going to look like a problem simple and easy. Thanks!

  • I know from past interest in Home Server content in TechNet Flash that many IT Pros have Windows Home

  • "Windows Media Center Extenders can access and stream multimedia content stored on the home server."

    I *seriously* doubt this to be accurate. I did not take this quote out of context as it was the majority of a bulletpoint. With no context, this says to me that any Media Center Extender can play content on my Windows Home Server with no interaction with any Windows Media Center machine.

    Will we be able to play all Home Server content on a Media Center Extender without having a Media Center machine available? I would love the answer to be "Yes" but I doubt it is.

    Please alter the post to accurately state the requirements for the feature you are advertising.

  • Microsoft today announced the availability of Windows Home Server (WHS) Power Pack 2 (PP2), previously

  • Microsoft today announced the availability of Windows Home Server (WHS) Power Pack 2 (PP2), previously

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