From the Home Server Team Blog:
We are pleased to announce Windows Home Server Power Pack 2. Power Pack 2 fixes known issues and adds new features to improve the Windows Home Server experience. Enhancements include: Improvements to remote access configuration, enhanced functionality for computers running Windows Media Center, and content streaming support for Windows Media Center Extenders. Power Pack 2 adds Italian language support on new home servers.
Power Pack 2 will be made available via Windows Update. Users need to have Windows Home Server with Power Pack 1 already installed on their home server. Power Pack 2 will automatically install as part of Windows Update if Automatic Updates is enabled on the home server.
The English version release date is today, March 24 with other languages available before the end of April. Follow the link for more details on the new features.
I am an enthusiastic user of Windows Home Server for backup only for which it is invaluable. If you have a home network and would be upset if you lost all the data on your PC, then it is hard to beat as a turnkey, "hands off" backup solution. The remote access and media serving features are of no use to me, but likely have their own fans.
I do wonder though whether WHS is making any money since it is a product that only techies or at least power users could love which eliminates the bulk of the home market. I would hate for it to disappear.
The Windows Home Server Team Blog breaks the news that Windows Home Server Power Pack 1 has been released to manufacturing (RTM) and is now available on the Microsoft Download Center and coming in August to Windows Update. Here’s what’s new:
As many know, Power Pack 1 provides a range of new enhancements, including support for home computers running Windows Vista x64 editions, backup of home server Shared Folders, improvements to remote access, more efficient power consumption and better performance. And, of course, it delivers a fix for the data corruption bug. Documentation for Power Pack 1 (Build #1800, to those who have been part of the beta testing) is available here.
Our OEM partners will be updating their systems with Power Pack 1 and HP will release a software update for the HP MediaSmart Server, delivering enhanced media streaming capabilities from PacketVideo, server-side anti-virus from McAfee and compatibility with 64-bit home PCs.
The data corruption bug affected a few users using the the home server for file sharing and not for backup, but still it’s the kind of thing you really don’t want on your data protection and sharing machine.
Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc reports that Microsoft has released Windows Search 4.0 which replaces Windows Desktop Search in Windows XP and Instant Search in Windows Vista as well as the relevant applications in Windows Server 2003, 2008, and Windows Home Server. Downloads of Windows Search 4.0 are now available and if you can wait a bit, it will show up on Windows Update.
Some notable enhancements in the new version include cross system searches (as long as they all run Windows Search 4.0) and improved Group Policy management for large organizations, but I expect that the greatest initial interest will be in ordinary desktop search. XP’s Windows Desktop Search was a resource hog that produced such mediocre results that disabling it figured prominently on most lists of XP performance improvement tips and had me pining for my old copy of Lotus Magellan. Vista’s Instant Search is certainly improved in both form and function so it will be interesting to kick the tires. Early reviews of Windows Search 4.0 indicate that there are still some rough edges and while it beats Google Desktop search in function, it still lags in speed.
Microsoft revealed last week that Windows Home Server is corrupting shared files when accessed by a variety of Microsoft and third party programs: