Got a 64-bit PC sitting around, just waiting for a purpose? Dig the idea of automated backups and media streaming in your home? Microsoft is offering up free downloads of its next Windows Home Server, dubbed "Vail", for public testing.
You'll definitely need to commit a whole computer to this beta test — the install itself wipes the system clean, and, as stated, Microsoft is saying that this Vail beta only works on 64-bit systems. The minimum requirements are "a 1.4 GHz x64 processor, 1 GB RAM, and at least one 160 GB hard drive". What do you get for giving over a spare, network-connected PC?
- Extending media streaming outside the home or office
- Multi-PC backup and restore
- Simplified setup and user experience
- Expanded development and customisation tools for partners
If you've got a nice Windows Home Server set up, but are tempted by a look at the new, you can back up your Windows Home Server to an external drive for later restoration.
The Vail home server beta is a free download, should install on most modern hardware. If you're giving it a go, tell us what you think, and whether it's worth the upgrade, in the comments.
Public beta for Windows Home Server, Code Name "Vail" [The Windows Blog]