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Windows Home Server 2011 Online Evaluation Available

Following the release of Windows Home Server 2011 on March 31, Microsoft has released an online tool to aid in evaluating the new home server platform online -- without risking your current setup.  Not only does this allow simulation of server aspect, but also from a client perspective, allowing one to tinker with most, if not all of the aspects of the new platform.

According to the Windows Team Blog, there are two ways in which you can trial the software, either by a guided manual approach, or by letting you freely interact with the server and client.  Unfortunately, there is not a trial version at this time, as there are codecs built-in, which require licensing:

When can I download an evaluation version so I can test at home on my own hardware? The answer to this is that we are not currently planning to release a downloadable evaluation version. Some of the embedded third-party codecs we use within WHS 2011 do not allow us to provide a trial version due to licensing agreements. As a result we can only offer an online experience.

The blog does go a bit farther indicating that a trial version is not out of the question in the future, but it's uncertain as to a time frame.  The online experience website is located at: https://online.holsystems.com/portals/sbs/whs/.  According to the website, you will need Windows XP and at least IE8 to run the simulator.  Head on over without fear of destroying your current setup, and post your thoughts about the experience below!

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