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Microsoft slings out Windows Home Server beta

Unveils Vail

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Microsoft yesterday released an English language-only public beta of the next version of its Windows Home server, codenamed ‘Vail’.

The company said it was still busy developing the software and so was fairly light on details but it did confirm that Vail includes four feature improvements. A community tech preview leaked onto the interwebs in January this year.

The operating system will come loaded with extended media streaming outside the home or office, carry multi-PC backup and restore, and feature an easier setup process and expanded development and customisation tools for Microsoft partners.

“In Vail, we’re moving to a new underlying server platform that will only run as a 64-bit OS,” said Microsoft flack Dave Berkowitz in a blog post yesterday.

“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.”

The Vail beta comes with a new software development kit for coders who want to create add-on apps for the OS. The system requires a 1.4GHz x64 processor, 1GB RAM and a minimum 160GB hard drive.

Microsoft is keeping Vail’s RTM deadline close to its chest, however.

“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’,” said Berkowitz. ®

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