Well, it's finally arrived.
Microsoft has just announced that the newest Windows Home Server (WHS2011 RC2) preview is now available for download.
Windows Home Server is part of a long-term vision by Microsoft to create a new platform for the home. Windows Home Server helps families and home-based businesses with multiple computers to organize, share, and automatically back up photos, videos, music, and other important documents. With over 130,000 registered Microsoft Connect users, there is a strong and vibrant community of enthusiasts helping to improve Windows Home Server software.
Windows Home Server code name "Vail" is the version 2 release of Windows Home Server, now based on Windows Server ® 2008 R2. There are some exciting new features that you can try out if you choose to join the Windows Home Server Connect program such as:
* Extending media streaming outside the home or office
* Improvements in multi-PC backup and restore
* Simplified setup and user experience
* Significantly expanded development and customization tools for partners
* Much, much more!
Join the Windows Home Server Connect program now and you can have an impact on current and future versions of the product!
* Test the latest beta software (and then tell us what you think about it!)
* Submit bug reports
* Suggest ideas on how to make the product better
* Participate in the Windows Home Server forum and hear from others who are actively involved in making the product better for everyone, get answers to your questions and get feedback on your ideas for the product
Full information here
You can download the "Vail" RC preview here
. (Please note that registration is required
in order for you to download this software.)
One interesting thing is this video
explaining how adding storage devices will be handled by the 2011 release. Well worth watching because it's now official: the Drive Extender feature has been removed from the 2011 release.
This announced abandonment of DE was discussed at some length in this
DC thread last December.
Dropping DE support remains a sore spot for many WHS fans. However, Microsoft has put in features to allow you to very easily add and format drives, move data from one location to another, and update your backup scripts so nothing gets missed after any moves.
While this new manual approach
is not as elegant a solution as Drive Extender used to be, it's still very workable. Wizards are provided for less technically adept user.
From the looks of it, Drive Extender won't be missed all that much since equivalent functionality has been provided. The only difference is that it won't be an automatic process like it was in the past. If reliability issues surrounding Drive Extender really were the reason why it was dropped, Microsoft made the right decision in prioritizing data integrity at the expense of user convenience.
Either way, that's how it now is, so we might as well get used to it.
All righty! So, who's up for giving it a try?