Rumor: Beta of "Vail" and "Aurora" to be available next week

ZDNet is reporting that codename "Vail" and "Aurora" may be available for beta testers next week. Vail and Aurora are low end versions of Microsofts Windows Server range of products, with Vail being the codename for the next version on Windows Home Server, based on Windows 7. Aurora is a new product, targeted at small businesses to bridge the gap between the more expensive Windows Server range.

Earlier this year the CTP (Community Technology Preview) of Vail was leaked online, and shortly after Microsoft made available a public beta of Vail, but Aurora is a new product which is yet to be seen. ZDNet reports that at Microsoft's TechEd conference in June, Microsoft Server and Tools President Bob Muglia said that Aurora is intended as a "small business appliance", and that it will actually include Active Directory functionality, though the extent of this is unknown yet.

Bob Muglia also said that "If you are a small business, it’s probably a better idea to run your e-mail (and other business-focused processes) in the cloud, " and that Microsoft believes that "the future for small businesses is to leverage the cloud."

Mary Jo Foley says that she believes that betas of both products will be available on July 12 -- the day a partner show is launched. Mary also says that she believes the products will be available for purchase by the "end of the calendar year", even though some sources are pinning the release in early 2011.

Microsoft is not commenting on when the betas will be available, or if they will be released. The current public beta of Windows Home Server "Vail" is available on Microsoft Connect, here.

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brolicboy said,
Will someone make decent looking WHS hardware? They all look big and fugly..

Nothing's stopping someone from installing it on say an Acer Aspire REVO. Personally, I think HP Mediasmart Server looks nice.

brolicboy said,
Will someone make decent looking WHS hardware? They all look big and fugly..

Im using a Dell Vostro Slim 220, cheap as chips, slim piano black, 2 1TB HDDs inside. Enough power for transcoding and doing its job, love it. My only problem with the HP ones is a lack of horsepower, ive seen the atom procesors struggle on the transcoding.

Loving the Public release of Vail. It's working much better than WHS 1.0 and very stable to boot. Looking forward to the beta!!!!

i'm wainting for release to buy a specialized home server. They have usually very low power consumption, which is good for 24h on-mode at home...

Good news...I've had some issues with the Vail installer not working correctly but the uninstaller is broken meaning I cant reinstall it either so I went back to the previous release for the mean time. Hopefully this one works for me.