Microsoft has been hard at work on the next version of Windows Home Server – codenamed “Vail”.
This new version of Windows Home Server is notable chiefly for being based on Windows Server 2008 R2 — a major upgrade from the current version, which uses Windows Server 2003 SP2 as the underlying OS.
Essentially it’s an Operating System with a built in Media Server, Backup, Data Recovery, Document Management, Remote Access and a gaggle of “add-ons” bundled in; and allows you to build a reliable network at home!
The Windows Home Server team blog cites four key areas of improvement with the new version: extending the ability to stream media outside of the home network and over the internet; multi-PC backup and restore; simplified setup and user experience.
This time round the OS is 64-bit only, with no 32-bit version available. Minimum hardware requirements are modest: a 1.4GHz x64 CPU, 1GB or RAM and a 160GB hard disk.
Individual hard disks larger than 2TB are now supported, as are iSCSI storage devices, and drive removal operations have been improved.
Here is a screenshot of the new User Interface:
In the following video you will see a walk through of the new product UI and take a first look preview of Windows Home Server v2