Windows Home Server users are gifted today with yet another system update, adding some small new stuff to the operating system. Your Home Server now gets an SSL certificate for remote access (you’ll have to re-run setup to get it). Also, they’ve added a Delete All button to delete all home computer backups on the server and shipped improvements to the Shared Folder and Server Storage componenents.
Microsoft announced Hyper-V, its virtualization hypervison technology formerly codenamed Viridian, available with various editions of Windows Server 2008. This results in eight versions of Server 2008, three with Hyper-V, three without, and two specialized types that don’t have Hyper-V:
- Windows Server 2008 Standard: $999 (with five Client Access Licenses, or CALs)
- Windows Server 2008 Enterprise: $3,999 (with 25 CALs)
- Windows Server 2008 Datacenter: $2,999 (per processor)
- Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems: $2,999 (per processor)
- Windows Web Server 2008: $469
- Windows Server 2008 Standard without Hyper-V: $971 (with five CALs)
- Windows Server 2008 Enterprise without Hyper-V: $3,971 (with 25 CALs)
- Windows Server 2008 Datacenter without Hyper-V: $2,971 (per processor)
The difference in price between the Hyper-V and non-Hyper-V versions is $28, and you can buy Hyper-V Server by itself for that same price.
If you were reading here last month, you’d have noticed Microsoft registering tens of domains related to Hyper-V, advance notice that this announcement was coming.
Jie Li shows two search engine mashups you can easily create on the free Windows Search Server 2008 Express, one combining Flickr, YouTube and Yahoo Images thumbnail results on a single page, the other combining regular enterprise search results and LinkedIn results. Since Search Server supports OpenSearch, you can plug in a ton of outside search results with your enterprise search, resulting in some cool and easy mashups.
Microsoft has decided to put out a completely free version of Search Server 2008, an Express edition that anyone can download and add to a Windows Server 2003 or 2008 server to get advanced search features for their enterprise search. Microsoft is targeting Google’s search appliance, hoping to get businesses to sign up for the free edition, and hopefully upgrade to the full version of Search Server 2008.
Unlike all of Google’s Search Appliances, Search Server Express has no arbitrary (or rather, price-controlling) document limits, so in some ways even the free version can be more useful than Google’s expensive hardware. There are also connectors being released for EMC Corp.â€™s Documentum and IBM Corp.â€™s FileNet, plus support for OpenSearch.
If you have a Server 2003 or better system (32-bit or 64-bit) available, you can download it right here.
Windows Home Server, despite being finalized in late August/early September, got its official launch day on Monday, as Microsoft introduced the product and the first Home Server PCs to the marketplace. Here’s the press release, announcing the retail release of HP’s oft-delayed MediaSmart Server, which is available now for pre-order and should hit stores within weeks, as well as these systems:
- Available in Europe in late 2007, the Fujitsu Siemens Computers SCALEO Home Server 1900 offers 1TB capacity across two hard drives, Gigabit Ethernet and advanced power management features.
- Iomega Corp. today unveiled new details about its home server product due in early 2008, the Iomega HomeCenter Server, which will ship with one 500GB hard drive and four â€œeasy-swapâ€ drive bays for storage expansion.
- Available in early 2008, the Life|ware Life|storage will offer enterprise-class capabilities to consumers, including Life|ware Entertainment and Automation Server software for home management.
- The MAXDATA Belinea o.center, which will also be available in Europe soon, is energy-efficient, offers advanced management and media functions, and allows up to four hot plug SATA hard drives.
- Also available in Europe later this year, the Medion Home Server comes with up to 2 TB of storage capacity and will offer universal plug-and-play media streaming based on PacketVideo PVConnect software.
- Available now, the Tranquil PC T7-HSA Tranquil Harmony Home Server is a small, quiet and energy-efficient solution with 500GB and 1TB options.
- On sale today, the Velocity Micro NetMagix HomeServer is a small, sleek unit that can be situated in a horizontal or vertical position, starting with 1 TB of expandable storage capacity.
Engadget has pictures of Medion and Iomega’s Home Servers (and some others), and they look really slick. I’m looking forward to seeing these things in person, and how good the reviews are. The Home Server blog points out that the HP MediaSmart Server is topping Amazon, with the 500 gigabyte version, selling for $570 (thirty dollars off), running as #1 in Computers and PC Hardware, and the 1 terabyte version, selling for $710 (forty dollars off), running #2 in the category.
Microsoft has just made available a free trial of Windows Home Server. The 120-day evaluation disk will only cost six dollars to ship, and give you four months to see if Home Server brings you enough benefits. If it does, the full version will be completely worth whatever it costs, though I’m not sure if you can buy the license from Microsoft or if you just need to head to Newegg. Either way, if you wanted to see whether the hype is a good fit for your house, pick it up now.
What will you receive?
Windows Home Server Installation DVD
Windows Home Server Connector CD
Home Computer Restore CD
Are you ready?
This software is intended for evaluation purposes only. In order to preserve your existing data, you must backup prior to installation. The setup process for server installation will erase any existing data.
Microsoft is holding some webcasts helping users learn more about HP’s MediaSmart Windows Home Server, the flagship Home Server hardware product that will be arriving one of these days. HP will demo the server, plus Rob Enderle, Rick Doherty, Paul Thurrott, and Ed Bott will be talking and answering questions from the audience about the marketplace and why home servers are needed.
Here are the times and scheduled industry experts for the live webcasts:
- Thursday, November 8th
4:00-5:00PM (PT), 7:00-8:00PM (ET)
Rick Doherty – Envisioneering
- Friday, November 9th
1:00PM-2:00PM (PT), 4:00-5:00PM (ET)
Rob Enderle – The Enderle Group
- Tuesday November 27th
10:00AM-11:00AM (PT), 1:00PM-2:00PM (ET)
Paul Thurrott – Supersite for Windows
- Thursday, November 29th
8:00AM-9:00AM (PT), 11:00AM-12:00PM (ET)
Ed Bott – ZDNet
Microsoft put up a Flash site running you through a house that’s been all tricked out, thanks to Windows Home Server. The house has an HP MediaSmart Home Server, home automation control on the living room lamp, backup for all its photos, streaming to an Xbox 360 and a wifi synced Zune keeping the boombox fresh with new music. There are videos and simple explanations of all the Home Server advantages, so check it out.
(via the Home Server blog)
The Windows Home Server blog discovered a nice bonus when one of their guys hooked up a new DirecTV high definition DVR set-top box: The boxes stream music and photos from Windows Home Server. If you’ve got a DirecTV HR-20 box and a Home Server hooked up to your home network, a new beta service developed with Intel will stream to your TV from the Home Server, and possibly from any Windows Media Connect-compatible client.
While it isn’t as good as a Media Center Extender, it is an easy way to get some extra streaming hardware if you are already a regular DirecTV customer. If enough products people are getting for other reasons work, with no effort on the user’s part, with Home Server, then Home Server becomes a lot more valuable.
The latest web server stats are in, and Microsoft’s market share grew two percent, while Apache’s declined two percent more. At this rate, Microsoft might be number one by the middle of December. Just two years ago, Apache had a lead over 60%, now it’s going to drop to second place. Amazing. I still find it amazing that Google’s servers (just the ones the company uses to run its own websites) have managed to grab third place.
Four Windows Home Server tidbits:
First off, Home Server is on sale right now at OEM resellers, with Newegg selling it for $190. ClubIT has it for $180, ATACOM for $173. If you’ve been looking to build a Home Server, now’s your chance, especially since Microsoft’s hardware partners have been, to say the least, unreliable.
We Got Served has a list of Windows Home Server add-ons, including one that lets you install anything as a service (so it runs without a logged in user), a download manager, a Windows Mobile connecter, a Windows Mobile wifi music streamer, a Recorded TV manager for use with Media Center, and a Tivo connecter, among others.
There’s a new toolkit for Home Server, a console add-in which helps you troubleshoot the server, tweak Remote Access settings, run server storage diagnostics, reset and erase the entire backup database, tweak backup notifications, send log files, run a command prompt, and troubleshoot your connection to the server.
Finally, I’m just about ready to load up my server, with the RAM I’ve been waiting on finally bought last night. I’ve got the RTM software lying on my desk, ready to be installed, and it should be fun reviewing Home Server and seeing what this baby can do. I’m excited at the possibilities.
TechData is selling Windows Home Server OEM software at its lowest price yet, just $161. Of course, they won’t have it in stock until late this month, and they don’t expect more than fifty copies, so try some other places if you’re in a rush:
- $185 at eCost
- $189 at Newegg
- $179 at Compumusic
- $199 at PCs for Everyone
- $181 at Alvio
- $165 at CostCentral
- $169 at Chumbo
- $166 at Monstronix
- $172 at FadFusion
- $167 at Unistorage
- $165 at Etech4sale
Find any better prices?
I actually just got my copy of Home Server from Microsoft, and I’ve got the perfect computer for it. Problem is, it’s light on RAM, so if anyone has some 168-pin non-ECC RAM, sticks of 512MB-1 gigabyte that they don’t need or would like to sell me for cheap (or trade for DVDs and others stuff), it’d be a huge help. Use the contact form and please let me know.
Microsoft shipped the anticipated first update for Windows Home Server, which enhances the usability, out-of-the-box experience, firewall issues, remote access troubleshooting, help with creating user accounts, and improvements in backing up computers that disconnect from the network. They even removed the need to enter the product key if Home Server shipped with your computer and removed the need for a reboot the first time your restore a single file.
They’re also talking about Update Release 1, the next update for Home Server. They will be alternating major and minor releases, with the current release a major one and URI being a minor one, expected for November. Read more about it from Mary Jo.
The winners of the first Code2Fame contest for Home Server add-ins were announced, with Andrew Grant picking up first prize for Whiist. Whiist lets you put HTML pages on a Home Server and run it remotely as a regular web server, and drop photos into a folder to be able to view them over the internet. Second prize was a service for backing up your Home Server to Amazon S3, and third prize was an add-in that pulls text, audio or video from RSS feeds for sharing to Home Server connected devices.
Windows Server 2008 Release Candidate 0 was released, and customers and partners can download and test-drive it while Microsoft sees if the code is ready for gold release at the end of the year.
Microsoft also released four patches for Windows Vista, available for download right now by everyone, and they will be part of Vista SP1. The patches are for compatibility and reliability (including extending mobile battery life, stability of wireless networking, shortening startup time), fixes USB problems, updates Media Player 11, an update rollup for Media Center
Windows XP Service Pack 3 was released to MSDN and TechNet testers, with testing set to complete with final release in the first half of next year.
Looks like after more than half a decade of plodding Windows development, Microsoft is getting things under control. Mary Jo Foley writes about how Microsoft is now syncing development for Windows Client operating systems (the ones you use on a regular computer, like XP and Vista) and Windows Server operating systems, with the two sharing massive amounts of the same code.
The idea is that if the two share code, they can share bug fixes, so Microsoft can release a single fix for all its platforms with less problems. Sharing developers and man hours doesn’t hurt either, speeding up the development of Windows versions. Thanks to all this, Client and Server now share 50% of the same code, and we get Vista SP1 and Server 2008 launching at the same time, as well as faster development and more stable operating systems for everyone.
Microsoft has gone and hired Doug Berrett, developer of WebGuide. WebGuide is an amazing piece of software that lets you access Windows Media Center (XP or Vista) from a web browser, letting you watch live TV and recordings, schedule new recordings, access music and pictures, all over any internet connection, and do pretty much the same thing through Windows Mobile as well. It’s amazing, and it is now 100% free!
Microsoft hired Doug to work on Media Center development (though not related to the things WebGuide does), so he wrapped up development and removed the $18 price tag. Active development of WebGuide is over, which is a shame, so hopefully someone will think about doing open source updates, though the software is pretty excellent already. Download WebGuide now that it’s free and see what the fuss is about.
Interestingly, there is a recent beta of WebGuide for Windows Home Server. Hopefully Doug will let someone else complete the project, because that is too damn useful to not be finished.
(via Download Squad and Neowin)
Neowin reports that participants in the Windows Server 2008 are being invited to participate in the Windows Vista Service Pack 1 beta. Emails are being sent out telling testers in the Server beta to go to Connect and fill out a survey within that beta to be eligible for the Vista SP1 beta. Meanwhile, the rest of us sit and pout (or download leaked versions from file sharing networks).
Microsoft has announced that Windows Server 2008 has been delayed further, and will be released in the first quarter of 2008, instead of the last quarter of 2007. The launch event is still scheduled for February 27, 2008 in LA, so expect it to be available by then.
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