Windows Home Server Power Pack 3 Beta

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A few weeks ago I blogged about the recover process of my MediaSmart Server, too bad the Windows Home Server died several days later. I have to say that I’m very pleased with HP support (for now :-)).

It took me a lot of phone calls, but HP Netherlands has agreed to repair my American MediaSmart Server! This is one of the main reasons I can’t test the new (beta) release of Power Pack 3. But what I read about it is making me very happy! With Power Pack 3 Windows Home Server will have full support for Windows 7 Clients!

I must say that I’m impressed with all the new features which Power Pack 3 will add to (the already super product) Windows Home Server. The only thing that is missing at the moment are the non-English versions, so all the people who do not speak English very well (like my parents…and many others) can also use this (in my opinion) product! 🙂

To read about all the new stuff of Power Pack 3, just click here to go to the Windows Home Server blog. I’ll just pick the parts of which I think are interesting (or cool ) enough to discuss!

Windows Search 4.0
Power Pack 3 (Beta) contains Windows Search 4.0 which will improve query search times and indexing times. It also adds support for files encrypted with Encrypting File system (EFS).

Support for Netbook resolutions
With Power Pack 3 (Beta) it’s finally possible to use a netbook to connect to the console. It now supports the small screen sizes and low resolutions!

Windows Media center Enhancements
In Power Pack 2 you were already able to easily access content from a Home Server (with your Windows Media Center PC). Power Pack 3 (Beta) extends the integration of your Home Server in your Windows Media Center. When you have Power Pack 3 (Beta) installed you will have a new set of options in your Windows Media Center (see image).

TV Archiving
The TV Archive option gives you the option to move your recorded TV content to your Home Server in different resolutions! Every WMV capable device can take advantage of this feature, but it’s optimized for Windows Mobile Phones, Microsoft Zune and (of course!) Windows Media Center Computers!

Users can select individual TV shows or all TV recordings to be automatically moved to the home server.

 

Console Quick View
With this feature you can simply see some statistics about the home server via the Windows Media Center (and Windows Media Center Extenders like the XBOX 360!).

You can check the following number of Home Server indicators :

  1. Storage (Pie Chart listing the percentage allocation of the Home Server storage)
  2. Drives (List, size and health of hard drives installed in the Home Server)
  3. Backup (List of computers being backed up and their current backup status)
  4. Shared Folders (List of Shared Folders by name with health status and duplication status)
  5. Media Counters (Count of Music, Photos, Video’s and Recored TV on the Home Server)
  6. Health (Health of the entire Home Network)
  7. Home Server (System Information of the Home Server’s hardware and manufacturer info)

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Right now (as you can read on the Windows Home Server blog) it’s not sure when Power Pack 3 will reach it’s Final Release! But they are trying to get it ready before the Windows 7 General Availability date (October 22nd!). Power Pack 3 will be a free update to existing Windows Home Server users and will be offered via Windows Update.

Microsoft is asking the current Windows Home Server users who are also running Windows 7 to test Power Pack 3. To do this just go to https://connect.microsoft.com/windowshomeserver and logon with your Windows Live ID. If you’re unable to see the content, just click the Apply for Participation in this Program to enter the program.

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