Many of you may already know that Microsoft has been hard at work on the next version of Windows Home Server. We are excited to announce today that the beta of this next version (code name “Vail”) is now available. We invite everyone to check it out by downloading the software from the Microsoft Connect site
. (English language builds are available now). We are releasing this Vail beta with one express goal: to solicit your feedback!
So what’s new and exciting in this next version? Although we’re still in the midst of development work (and things may change), we can say that Vail includes feature improvements in four key areas:
- Extending media streaming outside the home or office
- Multi-PC backup and restore
- Simplified setup and user experience
- Expanded development and customization tools for partners
Check out a short demo of some of the new features.
Before we go too much further, however, we want to pass along a couple of very important hardware-related tips on installing the Vail Beta:
- In Vail, we’re moving to a new underlying server platform that will only run as a 64-bit OS. We do not recommend running Vail on a 32-bit PC or existing Windows Home Server systems (even 64-bit Home Server systems) because there may be compatibility issues with some OEM drivers.
- Since it is still in ‘beta,’ please install the Vail code on a secondary computer as opposed to existing Windows Home Server v1 OEM systems (not even 64-bit systems) If you do install the beta on an existing system, you may experience a number of problems, including the inability to run WHS v1 add-in applications (even those provided by OEMs). Installing on a secondary machine will help ensure the best possible user experience, and we would like your feedback on what this scenario is like.
- Installation of the Vail OS on a PC will also require users to wipe all data from that PC or device.
- The hardware requirements for Vail call for a 1.4 GHz x64 processor, 1 GB RAM, and at least one160 GB hard drive. Full details and additional requirements will be posted on the Microsoft Connect download site.
Also, if you are a developer, this beta includes a new software development kit (SDK) that gives developers and partners even more ways to customize the OS and add new functionality and services to Windows Home Servers. Download the SDK here
So after you check out all of the great features in this public beta, you’ll probably want to know when the final version of Vail is going to ship. We’re not ready to discuss delivery dates yet. We want to ship the best possible product, and as that old commercial went (sort of), “we will ship no Windows Home Server before it’s time.”
Give Vail a test run today!
- Dave Berkowitz, Senior Communications Manager