Microsoft releases public preview of Windows Home Server 2.0

Microsoft’s follow-up to Windows Home Server codenamed Vail has gone public albeit in a preview edition.
The company has posted the first public beta of Windows Home Server 2.0 (or Windows Home Server v2 take your pick) on its Microsoft Connect site.

Key features in Vail include the ability to stream music and video files from your server’s media library over the Web to users logged into the server’s remote access page; an improved UI for both initial setup and ongoing operation and maintenance; and enhanced  backup and restore of PCs on the home network.

Vail represents several advances from the original Windows Home Server
which is now almost three years old. The codebase is derived from
Windows Server 2008 R2 compared to the first-gen’s Windows Server 2003
foundation and Microsoft will be releasing Vail only as a 64-bit OS
requiring at least a 1.4GHz processor.

Indications are that WHS v2 will also be available to OEMs and through
the channel intwo editions – Standard and Premium – although Microsoft
has been mum on that subject and there’s no indication of how the builds
may differ.

Microsoft is also said to be positioning WHS v2 as much for the small
office as for homes (and home-based offices). The beta download also include Vail’s new new SDK for developers to
create add-ins with the rumour of a WHS app store (we kid you not!) where admins can
browse and buy additional server software.