Windows Home Server Code Name "Vail" public preview announced

Microsoft has announced a public preview release of Windows Server Code Name "vail".

"Vail” is the version 2 release of Windows Home Server based on Windows Server 2008 R2. Vail provides simple file sharing, remote access, home computer backup, expandable storage through Drive Extender, and media streaming both inside and outside the home. Vail also contains an application catalog and product-wide extensibility model so that new services such as anti-virus, online sharing, and home automation can be seamlessly and easily added to the solution. Vail will be available pre-installed on systems by OEM partners, and a standalone software package will also be available for those who want to build their own systems.

Vail supports a number of Windows 7 technologies including "PlayTo" DLNA support to stream digital media to DLNA enabled devices. HomeGroup is also supported allowing simplified file sharing. Vail also includes Remote Streaming using Silverlight. Users can access their media remotely over the internet, anywhere. MPEG-4, 3GP, H.264, ADTS, AVI, MPEG-2, AAC, MP3, LPCM, MPEG-1. AC3 should be supported in RTM. MPEG2 and AC3 support are not available in the public preview version, but are planned to be supported in the released version.

Vail originally leaked in January as build number 7360. Today's Public Preview release is build 7495. Vail is 64-bit only and requires 1GB of RAM or more, and minimum 160GB hard drive for installation. More information is available over at Microsoft's Connect site or the "Vail" Public Preview beta forums.

Download: Windows Home Server Code Name "Vail" build 7495

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Next gen. iPod Touch makes an appearance on eBay? [Update]

Next Story

McAfee promises to reimburse customers for bad update

42 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Hmm.. not really showing off much new aapart from gui and media streaming.. Im hoping there will be a lot more, like maybe an applicaiton server, acess OWA and other office apps... be nice if they really pushed the boundaries of the current home server and its limitations.. altogh a much loved product!

DrScouse said,
Hmm.. not really showing off much new aapart from gui and media streaming.. Im hoping there will be a lot more, like maybe an applicaiton server, acess OWA and other office apps... be nice if they really pushed the boundaries of the current home server and its limitations.. altogh a much loved product!

Office isn't something that would be included in WHS. Accessing OWA, thats something that you do over the web, hence Outlook WEB Access / App. If you mean having WHS host your e-mail, not gonna happen unless ISPs allow for SMTP port 25.

This is a 'consumer' focused product. There is a reason it is stripped down from a standard Server 2008 R2 OS.

ChrisJ1968 said,
so with this, i can setup a "home server" for back purposes or file sharing?

any ideas what this would cost?

We don't know what vail would cost. But the current WHS software is $99. Hardware costs all depends on what you choose to buy.

madLyfe said,
only 64bit..? serial...?

Yes, it is 64 bit only as it is based on Windows Server 2008 R2.

Your question about "serials" is kind of moot right now. You do realize that this is pre-release beta software right? Microsoft is making product keys available for the beta on their Connect site. Like all beta software from Microsoft, this does have an expiration date.

Tom Z said,
Your question about "serials" is kind of moot right now.

I think he meant "serial?" as in "are you serious?"

Some people are far to quick off the mark I feel...

RuuddieBoy said,
Does anyone know what has changed since the leaked 7360 build?

Lots of things. Microsoft does not produce public changelogs.

Wondering if this version will have the ability to backup the backups? I decided to switch hard drives- to make a long story short, I ended up having to reinstall from scratch- and consequently post all my previous WHS backups. I had rumors that this new version might have an ability to backup the backups.

Recon415 said,
I hope this gets released on Dreamspark. Would really love to get my hands on this.

Unlikely since the current version is not on Dreamspark, and they don't seem to release consumer orientated software on there, it's more developers/professional stuff.

Recon415 said,
I hope this gets released on Dreamspark. Would really love to get my hands on this.

This will not be on DreamSpark. DreamSpark is focused on students and putting development tools in their hands. Windows Home Server is not a development tool.

Am I the only one that can't find the download, I mean I have the Home Server page in my connections. Or is this done by invite?

Sean2989 said,
Am I the only one that can't find the download, I mean I have the Home Server page in my connections. Or is this done by invite?

No, it is "public", I have it listed in the Home Server page.

Sean2989 said,
Am I the only one that can't find the download, I mean I have the Home Server page in my connections. Or is this done by invite?

I couldn't find it at first, but it is on the home server page, under public preview:
Getting Started Guide
Windows Home Server code name "Vail" Public Preview video
--The one you want!!:-- Windows Home Server code name "Vail" Public Preview
Windows Home Server code name "Vail" Public Preview SDK

Edited by therealmorris, Apr 26 2010, 8:55pm :

Honestly I wish that I could do all of this simple stuff with having Windows 2008 as my domain controller and get the other little stuff as well. It would make life a lot easier.

MMaster23 said,
Any word on WHS1 --> Vail migrations ?

Since it's just the OS, and it keeps the OS drive/partition seperate from the other storage pool, you should be able to upgrade the OS to this if you wanted on your own WHS. If you mean moving from one WHS to a new one with this, then that should be an option as well, PC to PC transfer I'm guessing.

blade1269 said,
Wonder when the release date is? Good thing for OEM.

No release date is being announced at this time.

Bern@rd said,
Any word on Media Center functionality?

If you mean is Media Center now a part of Vail. The answer to that is no.

Tom Z said,

If you mean is Media Center now a part of Vail. The answer to that is no.

I was really really hoping for this. It'd be nice if I could record on the server instead of transfering it to the server, and then back to a pc I want to watch it on.

Tom Z said,

If you mean is Media Center now a part of Vail. The answer to that is no.

I'm struggling to work out why this is the case but. Both WHS and HTPC's are still relatively niche products. If they combined the two perhaps people would be more keen to bite. Hell I'd at least be happy to pay extra for a version that combined the functionality of both...it just makes so much sense.

majortom1981 said,
The problem is that i can already access my files from my windows 7 desktop through my dlna tv .

yeah but this isn't just about streaming though.....

BeatBlaster said,

yeah but this isn't just about streaming though.....

Yes i Know Virus updates and backups too but for most people i cant see making an extra machine to do it and even repalcing this one would take away a usable computer.

joemailey said,
Looks pretty darn interesting

Yeah I was thinking the same thing. Would be pretty useful, a simplified basic home serve very good idea in my opinion.