We are pleased to announce the Windows Home Server Power Pack 3 Beta which improves the Windows Home Server experience with Windows 7 and Windows Media Center by providing the following new features: Backup and restore of computers running Windows 7, Windows 7 Libraries integration, enhancements for Windows Media Center, and better support for netbook computers.
If you are running Windows 7 on your home computer and are a current Windows Home Server user, we need your help!
Important: You will need to sign up as a beta participant of the Windows Home Server program on Microsoft Connect in order to download the Power Pack 3 Beta. https://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer
Windows Home Server performs a full image-based backup of Windows 7-based computers, allowing for a complete computer recovery in the case of a hard drive failure, or restoration of a single file or folder in the event of accidental deletion or loss. After the Windows Home Server Connector software has been installed on a computer running Windows 7, Windows 7 Backup warnings will be suppressed and users will no longer receive a notification to back up their computer. Windows Home Server can back up Windows XP SP2 or later, Windows Vista and Windows 7-based computers.
Windows 7 – Backup Windows Home Server completes an automatic image-based backup of Windows-based computers every day.
Power Pack 3 Beta will add Music, Photos and Videos shared folders on the home server to Windows 7 Libraries making the content available for applications such as Windows Explorer, Windows Media Center, Windows Media Player and other applications that use Windows 7 Libraries. This allows users to quickly access all their content in one organized place that is always available, searchable and expandable. Users can also search a specific library without having to know where the files are stored.
Windows 7 – Libraries – Pictures Windows Home Server content is automatically added to Windows 7 Libraries after installing the Windows Media Center Connector software.
Windows 7 – Windows Explorer Jump List – Music Library Users access the libraries through Jump Lists by simply selecting Music, Videos or Photos. All content is accessible from one organized location.
Windows Search 4 has been included with Power Pack 3 Beta to improve query search times, indexing times and reliability. If users are searching across multiple computers, extended remote discovery increases the efficiency of searching across all document libraries. Files encrypted with Encrypting File System (EFS) are now supported with search.
The image below is an example of searching across a music library where files are located in multiple places: the home computer Music folder, the home computer Public Music folder, and the home server Music shared folder. Users can add other locations to Windows 7 Libraries.
Windows 7 – Libraries – Music – Searching for Aerosmith music content on the home server Searching for content in the library folder will not only search the home computer but also search the home server.
Power Pack 3 Beta makes Windows Home Server compatible with netbook computers that have small screen sizes and low resolution. A home server makes a great storage and backup solution for ultra-portable computers.
Last March, Power Pack 2 added functionality that allowed Windows Media Center and Media Center Extenders to easily access the content on a home server. Power Pack 3 Beta builds on this functionality. 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. Users will notice a new Home Server selection in Windows Media Center menu.
The TV Archive tile in Windows Media Center will give users the option to move recorded TV content to the home server in a variety of resolutions. The recorded TV shows are archived in the correct resolution for the type of device that will be used for playback. TV Archive is optimized for Windows Media Center computers, Windows Mobile-based phones, and the Zune player, however, any device capable of playing WMV files can take advantage of this feature.
· TV – Original Resolution
· Windows Mobile – 320 x 240, 500 Kbps, .WMV
· Zune – 640 x 480, 1500 Kbps, .WMV
Users can select individual TV shows, a series of shows, or all TV recordings to automatically be moved to the home server. Because Windows Home Server storage space can be easily expanded, users can keep all the TV shows that they want in their collection.
Windows Media Center view – Home Server – TV Archive view
Console Quick View allows users to see statistics about the home server through Windows Media Center and Windows Media Center Extenders. This is a convenient way to view many aspects of the home server without needing to access the Windows Home Server Console. This feature allows users to view and monitor a number of home server indicators:
· Storage – Pie chart listing the percentage allocation of the home server storage
· Drives – List, size and health of hard drives installed on the home server
· Backup – List of computers being backed up and their current backup status
· Shared Folders – List of Shared Folders by name with health status and duplication status
· Media Counters – Count of music, photos, videos and recorded TV files on the home server
· Health – Health of the entire home network
· Home Server – System information of the home server’s hardware and manufacturer info
Windows Media Center view – Home Server – Console View
Timing of the Power Pack 3 final release has not been determined. With your help to test the Beta, we hope to release the update prior to the Windows 7 General Availability date of October 22. Power Pack 3 will be a free update to existing Windows Home Server users via Windows Update. Thanks for your support!
- The Windows Home Server Team
It’s summer, so it’s time for the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC). During this annual event, Microsoft and the Windows Server Solutions Group share strategies and visions for addressing the challenging economy, saving customers money, and helping partners and customers compete confidently. Senior leader keynotes include Steve Ballmer (Chief Executive Officer) , Stephen Elop (President, Microsoft Business Division), Kevin Turner (Chief Operating Officer), Allison Watson (Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Partner Group), Bob Muglia (President, Server & Tools Division), Bob Kelly (Corporate Vice President, Server & Tools) and many other executives who will share their vision for the company and its partners.
The Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference held July 13–16 in New Orleans, is an annual gathering where Microsoft Corp.’s partner community will network and build connections, share best practices, and learn new skills and techniques.
If you are attending WPC, this is your chance to learn about all the Windows Server options for Small & Medium Businesses by attending our session CI003 Windows Server Portfolio for SMB: Which Server Is Best for Your Customer (and You!) on Monday afternoon at 3:30-4:30 in Room 255-257.
Also come by our Exposition Hall booth # 621 and you can enter to win one of 6 HP MediaSmart Server EX485 (ERP $599) Windows Home Servers and attend one of our two booth theater sessions. The Windows Server for SMB booth theater sessions are Windows Essential Business Server 2008 and the free IT Network Health Scanner for SMB on July 16th from 12:30 – 12:50PM and the Windows SBS and Windows Home Server Client Backup on July 16th from 2:30 to 2:50PM. Simply drop your business card into the fishbowl on your way in the door or at the booth and we will choose one winner per day at the booth and one winner at each session. Sorry this Sweepstakes is only for event attendees, you must be present to enter.
Hopefully we'll get to see many of you at WPC this year. The best part of this conference is the time we spend with our partners and we are looking forward to meeting with as many of you as we can. Please use the WPC Connect to create a meeting request to request a specific meeting or simply drop by the booth to meet the Windows Server for SMB team including: Dean Paron, Eric Watson, Eric Kidd, Russ Madlener, Nick King, Leslie McGuire, Katharine Pike, Becky Lymberis, Vikram Ghosh, Cecile Charlot, Jonas Svensson, Kannan Iyer, Murali Sangubhatia, Sean Daniel, Lingan Satkunanathan, Cassie Hicks, Eduardo Melo, Brijesh Ramachandran, David Fabritius, Moira Whidby and Brent Reeser.
For those of you who are unable to join us in New Orleans next week, we’ve created new social networking assets so feel free to follow WPC virtually on our team blog, Facebook or Twitter.
Don’t you love to share your photos with your friends and family? Those great shots of your little kids wearing their strained carrots or a picture of your daughter’s first formal dance; it’s through images that we graphically share the high’s and low’s of our most personal lives. With Windows Home Server you can easily create a private online photo sharing experience for only those individuals you permit while being accessible to the internet.
When you add a Windows Home Server to an online photo sharing site, like Flickr it gets even more interesting. We know that for many Windows Home Server users securely storing and sharing photo’s online is a main reason for them to purchase a server in the first place. Add to that the robust developer community add-ins such as Ed Holloway’s online photo sharing Photosync for Windows Home Server which automatically syncs the contents of your photo’s folder on the Windows Home Server to Flickr, Doug Barrett’s WebGuide which enables you to remotely access, listen, watch and stream your music, photos and videos stored on your home server while away from home and Andrew Grant's Whiist that allows you to create and manage web content on your Windows Home Server.
I’m a social networking geek these days, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and I blog about our cycling epics and Windows Home Server, yet I am very hesitant to share truly personal photos, especially group photos, using the current publically available online tools. I value my privacy and want to respect the privacy of my friends by not sharing photos or videos of them in a way that might make them uncomfortable, now or in the future.
It’s amazing how much information is shared across the web and photos are a means of visual sharing. These days social networking and online photo sharing sites like Facebook, Flickr, Photobucket, and SmugMug to name a few, allow us to share our photos with our friends and potentially the world with a few clicks of a mouse. These sites do a great job and provide a community gathering place for those interested in visually exploring the world around them. For an in depth look at the online photo sharing ecosystem including analysis of the various services, check out Wikipedia, cnet Online digital photo printing & sharing and Lifehacker’s review of the Five Best Photo Sharing Sites.
I mentioned my cycling epics earlier; this past year I spent 2 weeks riding our tandem down the pacific coast with 28 other folks from all over North America to raise funds for the American Lung Association. Before the trip I knew only one individual, afterwards we are all fast friends who now keep in touch regularly over Facebook and email. Over the course of the trip as the miles passed we all unwound and the ensuing antics of the trip were dutifully recorded by multiple cameras including some video footage of the best dances, camping mornings and late night cribbage games.
After the trip we all wanted to check out the photos from the other riders, especially the dancing, however as many of the riders are in the legal profession it was important to ensure security for many of the pictures, especially the really good stuff; yet we wanted to make it possible for all of the riders to access the photo’s online. The answer to our dilemma was the Windows Home Server and its remote access and shared folder features.
Specifically what we did is to create one photo album (folder) and it’s link and password was sent out to the participants. This enabled them to use the web to link into the remote Windows Home Server to access the one online photo album while still keeping the rest of the information on the server private. We also leveraged the add-in Photosync to share specific photos with the masses on Flickr.
With Windows Home Server we were able to collect hundreds of photos of the trip in a private password protected online location. By allowing each rider to upload their photos, sharing became a breeze. Each of the photos is available online to anyone using web browsers who have the proper permissions. Permissions are simple to set and can be revised at any time by the Windows Home Server administrator (probably youJ). This enabled our entire cycling crew to share the experience all over again whenever they want. In addition with the add-ins like Whiist & WebGuide we were able to create a more robust viewing experience.
For families, hobby organizations, sports teams, vacation buddies, or conference attendees, anytime when privacy matters Windows Home Server is your online photo sharing solution. It provides a secure location to allow private online photo sharing in addition to robust image based backup software technology. There are alternatives to public websites, why take the chance with a public solution when Windows Home Server can create a private community where you can share photos, videos and files with your friends and family?