The Windows Home Server team, in conjunction with all of our partners, MVPs, and "Dogfooders" is extremely happy to announce that a Release Candidate of Windows Home Server Power Pack 1 (Build 1771) is now available for public download and testing through Microsoft Connect!
There has been a huge amount of testing applied to Power Pack 1 already and we have high confidence that Power Pack 1 solves the data corruption bug that was first identified late last year (Knowledge Base article #946676). We are running this public beta with the aspiration that we will get thousands of beta testers to help us prove that we not only have fixed "the bug", but have significantly improved all parts of Windows Home Server with new features such as:
- Support for PCs running Windows Vista x64 editions
- Backup of home server Shared Folders
- Easier, enhanced remote access capabilities
- Better energy efficiency
- Improved performance
- Chinese and Japanese versions
We will not ship the final release of Windows Home Server Power Pack 1 until the community has validated our work. In the Release Documentation for Windows Home Server Power Pack 1 we outline a number of specific test scenarios. For us to feel our testing has been validated we need a large number of beta testers to work through these scenarios and regular home server operation for a period of time. Given the fantastic number of people who have signed up already (well ahead of the numbers we were hoping for), and how great the community has been in the past in helping us, I am confident we'll get enough testers. The only remaining question is how quickly those testers download the bits and start testing them.
The Windows Home Server Customer Improvement Program allows us to track metrics on product usage and we are anxiously watching how the product is used to gauge when we've hit our target...so we can begin the final release process.
So don't delay. Head on over to Microsoft Connect and sign-up (if you haven't already) and download and start testing Windows Home Server Power Pack 1. We've posted both an update package that can be applied to existing Windows Home Servers as well as updated DVD and CD ISO images of an evaluation version of Windows Home Server with Power Pack 1. If you choose to run the Release Candidate on a "production" home server you should make a backup of everything prior to getting started. Make sure you read the Release Documentation to see what's new and updated!