The team is pleased to announce that Windows Home Server Power Pack 1 has been released to manufacturing (RTM) and is now available on the Microsoft Download Center!
The English version is available now and German, Spanish and French versions will be available on the Download Center soon. Windows Home Server customers who don’t download it on their own will receive Power Pack 1 via Windows Update in August, and the new Chinese and Japanese versions will RTM in August, too.
As many know, Power Pack 1 provides a range of new enhancements, including support for home computers running Windows Vista x64 editions, backup of home server Shared Folders, improvements to remote access, more efficient power consumption and better performance. And, of course, it delivers a fix for the data corruption bug. Documentation for Power Pack 1 (Build #1800, to those who have been part of the beta testing) is available here.
Our OEM partners will be updating their systems with Power Pack 1 and HP will release a software update for the HP MediaSmart Server, delivering enhanced media streaming capabilities from PacketVideo, server-side anti-virus from McAfee and compatibility with 64-bit home PCs.
Windows Home Server can now be purchased in 50 countries worldwide and a growing ecosystem of third-party software developers has released approximately 60 Add-in programs extending Windows Home Server’s capabilities. To help fuel this development we have updated the Windows Home Server software development kit for Power Pack 1, including new support for the client PC side, i.e. notifications to/from home computers.
We continue to hear fantastic feedback from our customers about how 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 1, and to the Home Server community as a whole, for its ongoing support and enthusiasm.
The Windows Home Server Team
The Windows Home Server team, in conjunction with all of our partners, MVPs, and "Dogfooders" is extremely happy to announce that a Release Candidate of Windows Home Server Power Pack 1 (Build 1771) is now available for public download and testing through Microsoft Connect!
There has been a huge amount of testing applied to Power Pack 1 already and we have high confidence that Power Pack 1 solves the data corruption bug that was first identified late last year (Knowledge Base article #946676). We are running this public beta with the aspiration that we will get thousands of beta testers to help us prove that we not only have fixed "the bug", but have significantly improved all parts of Windows Home Server with new features such as:
We will not ship the final release of Windows Home Server Power Pack 1 until the community has validated our work. In the Release Documentation for Windows Home Server Power Pack 1 we outline a number of specific test scenarios. For us to feel our testing has been validated we need a large number of beta testers to work through these scenarios and regular home server operation for a period of time. Given the fantastic number of people who have signed up already (well ahead of the numbers we were hoping for), and how great the community has been in the past in helping us, I am confident we'll get enough testers. The only remaining question is how quickly those testers download the bits and start testing them.
The Windows Home Server Customer Improvement Program allows us to track metrics on product usage and we are anxiously watching how the product is used to gauge when we've hit our target...so we can begin the final release process.
So don't delay. Head on over to Microsoft Connect and sign-up (if you haven't already) and download and start testing Windows Home Server Power Pack 1. We've posted both an update package that can be applied to existing Windows Home Servers as well as updated DVD and CD ISO images of an evaluation version of Windows Home Server with Power Pack 1. If you choose to run the Release Candidate on a "production" home server you should make a backup of everything prior to getting started. Make sure you read the Release Documentation to see what's new and updated!
The Windows Home Server team has added a Power Pack 1 forum to the Windows Home Server Community forums. If you have questions about Power Pack 1, please go there to ask them. Cheers!
Good news! Windows Home Server has reached the Beta 2 milestone! While previous releases have been tested by 1000+ Microsoft employees and some of our hardware and software partners, we are now starting to invite a broader group of external testers to participate in Beta 2.
People that are interested in participating in Beta 2 can register here so we have their names as we steadily expand the program. We can't guarantee you'll be invited to participate right away (or at all), but if you're interested get yourself registered. Keep in mind that Beta 2 does not really represent the "consumer experience." Most consumers will ultimately buy Home Server as an integrated hardware/software solution that's very plug and play, e.g. the HP MediaSmart Server. Beta 2 is software only, of course, meaning evaluators will need to know how to install and configure a server operating system. Beta 2 participants will also need a dedicated machine for Home Server - Pentium 4, 512 MB RAM and two or more internal hard drives with at least 300 GB primary system hard drive is recommended - and at least 2 client PCs and a broadband connection.
You can participate in the Beta 2 dialogue on the public Windows Home Server Forum: http://forums.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer The Windows Home Server team and other participants will answer questions and provide insights there.