Windows Home Server 'Vail' preview ready for download

February 4, 2011 // 4:18 p.m.

Tags: #home-server #preview #rtm #vail #whs #windows-home-server #windows-server-2008-r2

Microsoft has made the last preview release of Windows Home Server 2 available, codenamed 'Vail,' prior to it being released to manufacturing.

The new release, which updates the core of the software to the same base as Windows Server 2008 R2, is claimed by the company to offer a significant improvement over its predecessor. Among its new features are the ability to stream media across the Internet, enhancements to the backup and restore process for multi-PC households, and a simplified setup process.

As its name suggests, Windows Home Server is designed to create a simple media and storage server device in your home, while providing the ability to automatically back up critical files from Windows PCs. However, early issues with file corruption meant that adopters of the first few Home Server products on the market didn't have a great experience.

This latest release makes it considerably easier for an end-user to install the system, unlike the original Windows Home Server which was aimed at OEM deployment on pre-built miniature server boxes. The ability to stream media, including videos and audio, from a Home Server to external devices while on the move is certainly welcome too - and something that was missing from the original release.

Although not due for commercial release just yet, Microsoft is making a trial version of the software available for download to members of its Windows Home Server Connect programme, which is free to join. To download Windows Home Server 'Vail,' simply sign up on the official site.

Will you be giving Vail a chance, or have the issues with the original Windows Home Server package put you off? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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