Beta 2 – An overwhelming response

Beta 2 - When, How, Where, Who, etc. 

After 24 hours of announcing the survey for nominating yourself to participate in the Windows Home Server Beta 2 program, we had responses from over 10,000 people in 107 different countries.  We get a new person filling out the survey every 7 seconds.  Today, the number has passed 20,000 people from 111 different countries. 

We are putting the finishing touches on the Connect Site for Windows Home Server Beta 2 and trying to figure out who will be the lucky ones and who will be sorely dissapointed ... needless to say - we don't really want to dissappoint anybody.  Thanks in advance for your patience !

You will initially need to be able to burn your own DVD and CDs so that you can install the Windows Home Server software from the DVD and the Windows Home Server Connector software onto 1 or more of your PCs in your home.   There is a 2nd CD, called the Home Computer Restore CD, that you can use to do a complete restore of a PC from a backup stored on your home server. 

We are trying to provide an option for people in certain geographies with the ability to order Disk Kits and charge simply on a 'cost recovery' basis for those who do not have the means for burning their own DVDs and CDs.  The Disk Kit option will not be available for all geographies - and information about this option will be posted on our Connect site, if and when you get accepted into the program.

Lots of other Questions - a few answers

  • Will you be providing hardware? 

    • No, you will need to provide your own hardware for testing Windows Home Server.  That is why we asked that question in the survey.

  • Do I really need a broadband connection?

    • Yes, as we want people that will be able to test the Remote Access options in Beta 2.

  • Will the Windows Home Server Beta 2 software and documentation be available in multiple languages?

    • No, Beta 2 will only be available in English. 

  • Does Beta 2 come with any documentation or manuals?

    • Yes, there are 3 separate documents that come with the Beta 2 software

      • Gettting Started Guide - explains the hardware requirements and steps for installing the Windows Home Server software

      • Reviewers Guide - detailed overview of the product and a step-by-step guide of the Beta 2 features and functionality

      • Release Documentation - also known as a "Read Me" - known issues that you should be aware of before using the software

  • How come you didn't offer "Maybe" as an option for some of the Yes/No questions?

    • I was always told that "maybe" meant "NO"



Comments (9)
  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank You!  Installed yesterday and running great!  Asus A8N-VM CSM, Sempron 3800+, 512mb Dual Channel DDR, 2 WD 120GB SATA drives, 1 WD 80GB PATA drive.  Installed nForce drivers from Nvidia along with Cool n’ Quiet driver from AMD.  Seems to be working excellent.  My network throughput has increased dramatically between my desktop and the server.  Before I had XP pro and a mirrored NVidia RAID array on the server.  With Vista Ultimate file transfers between the client and the XP Pro "server" would rarely get over 8MB/sec with all Gigabit conections.  Now I have seen file transfers spike up over 50MB/sec and average around 20MB/sec with the only change being WHS and no more NVIDA RAID array in the server!  I am very impressed!  The console is super slick as well!  Great product.  

    I will be sure to submit any bugs I find through Connect.  I am wondering if the lack of native support for the nForce 410/430 chipset, Cool n’ Quiet, and such would be considered a bug?  Also,  I have read on another blog that an x64 bit version can be installed.  Will this be available as well?  My hardware / drivers would fully support x64 WHS and I would rather run the x64 bit version if possible…

    Best regards,

    Chad Wagner

  2. Anonymous says:

    I need this more than anyone 😉 Can’t wait for the final – Hope I be in the Beta 🙂


  3. Anonymous says:

    I filled out the survey and all I can say is, Please let me in!


  4. Anonymous says:

    I was hoping to be a beta tester like everyone else.  I hope that was just the first batch of invitations sent out with more to come, especially one with my name on it.  I think this is the killer application of the year or few years and is just what I’ve been hoping for.  I have 4 laptops and an iMac, and yeah, planning to build a server as soon as WHS becomes available or become a beta tester.  I like the file sharing and auto backup features.  And, since I work couple of days at home, I  especially love the remote access feature.  I’m also looking forward to finally moving the family photos over to one centralized server to free up all the spaces on laptops and iMac.  Another thing I’m looking to do is to convert all home DVD videos to compressed media player format and put them on the server.  I’m drooling.  pick me, pick me, please.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I got my invitation on Feb 16, 2007! Thanks! Feedback coming soon.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I personally am looking forward to this product release.  I signed up because I think this could really be a great product for my network.  On top of that, so many of the people I help with PC work would be able to benefit from this.  One of the best surprises was the bootable CD Recovery of an entire sy

    stem in the time it takes to replace a new drive and push it down to the box.  That’s awesome…because while my PC would be down, much of the resources I need would be available to other computers in the network.  It eliminates the need for my workstation drive mirroring which is great!  Yes it could be stated that much of this can be done already…but I haven’t seen it presented this simply before.  Truthfully backing up is something I preach but not something I do well, hence the drive mirroring.  Many of us are in this position.  This seems like a fun solution that will take care of my shortfall in that respect and offer me much more.  I am stoked!

  7. Anonymous says:

    "Do I really need a broadband connection?

    Yes, as we want people that will be able to test the Remote Access options in Beta 2."

    Damn, the vast majority of home users out here in South Africa are still on dialup due to the useless telecomms infrastructure. Does that mean we cant participate at all?

    Where can I find a full list of features for WHS(well, as they stand now)?

    Can you restrict users with GPO’s, assign them to user groups like in Active Directory, can you lock accounts, force password policy over the whole network, what about surf control on the internet connection? I am a senior systems engineer so am used to these things at work and would love to be able to do this on my home network.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hope I get accepted into the beta program! My main areas of interest is backup and remote access. For backup, I’m especially interested in secure backups. i.e. if a hard disk goes down on the WHS, that the data is still safe and by replacing the hard drive, it gets somehow rebuilt. I understand from Paul Thurrott’s website, that WHS employs an alternative to RAID 5, I’m very intertested in what the WHS team have done in this area.

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