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Microsoft beta-fies Home Server PP3 for Windows 7

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Microsoft is looking for guinea pigs to test Windows Home Server Power Pack 3 beta, which is - predictably - built around Windows 7.

Pioneering souls with Windows 7 on a home computer or currently running Windows Home Server can sign up here on Microsoft's site.

Power Pack 3 expands the ability to create image-based backups to Windows 7 machines in addition to XP SP2 and Vista machines.

Microsoft is also pitching PP3 as a storage and backup solution for netbooks and other small, cheap computers as a way to augment their limited storage space. The latest update now supports a resolution of 1024x600 so netbook owners can use their miniature screen as the interface and playback device for Home Server.

Power Pack 3 also lets users share music, photos, and videos to Windows 7 Libraries, allowing the content to be shared from a central addressable location across all other Windows 7 computers attached to the network.

Windows Search 4 is baked into PP3 for speedier search times, indexing times, and stability across all document libraries on the network. Files encrypted with Encrypting File System (EFS) are now supported with search.

The TV Archive option in Windows Media Center will now lets users record television to the home server running PP3 beta in smaller resolutions for Windows Mobile devices (320x240, 500 Kbps) and the Zune (640x480, 1500 Kbps). It appears Microsoft is still keeping the format of the videos limited to WMV files — so non-Microsoft devices that can take advantage of this new feature are still rather limited.

Microsoft has the full runaround of its Windows Home Server PP3 beta program on its Home Server blog. ®

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