Just got an email from Microsoft announcing a Community Technology Preview Program for Windows Home Server. You can sign up for the beta here.
Microsoft Releases Windows Home Server Community Technology Preview
Today, Microsoft announced the release of the Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Windows Home Server. People that are interested in evaluating the Windows Home Server CTP can apply for participation in the program here.
This update to the current Beta 2 provides a wide range of code fixes, user interface improvements and feature enhancements, such as:
A More Complete â€œOut of the Boxâ€ Experience
The CTP offers users a more complete and simplified experience, including an easy, 7 step setup process that appears after the installation of the Windows Home Server software. You can now define a unique name for your home server, and you can also replicate the experience of configuring e a home server with the Windows Home Server software pre-loaded from an existing home computer.
Easier Remote Access Configuration
Users can now setup and configure Remote Access capabilities from the Windows Home Server Console, including selection of a personalized web address from the Windows Live Custom Domains service.
More Control Over Home Network Health Notifications
Users can enable or disable home network health notifications and can dictate where and when various notifications are displayed on their computers.
Improved Password Settings
Users can clearly define their password settings, and designate a password hint to assist in recovering a forgotten Windows Home Server password.
Users can now add and remove Windows Home Server Add-in programs developed with the Windows Home Server Software Development Kit.
Currently in beta, the Software Development Kit (SDK) provides guidance to software developers interested in building applications for Windows Home Server, using the application programming interface and services in the Windows operating system.. The beta SDK documentation is available at no charge on the Microsoft Developer Network.
What is Windows Home Server?
Windows Home Server will help families with multiple PCs connect their home computers and digital devices, in order to easily store, protect and share their photos, music, videos and documents. More than 60,000 people are participating in the current beta program. This fall Windows Home Server will be broadly available to consumers on new hardware from leading partners, such as the HP MediaSmart Server.
Mary Jo Foley says this next version is code-named “Fiji”, and will be an update to Vista Media Center.
According to sources and various blog postings, Fiji will be a collection of fixes and updates to the Media Center functionality that Microsoft delivered in Vista. But it also will include some new features aimed at consumers interested in extending their video/music/photo/TV experiences. sources have said that Fiji will require certain functionality in Vista Service Pack (SP) 1, which is still widely expected to ship before the end of this year.
This post originally was titled “Windows Home Server Public Beta Announced (also new Media Center)”, but TheThirdEye made a good point in the comment that it wasn’t an accurate way of describing it.