Windows Home Server to get feature boost in '08

First feature update to Windows Home Server, dubbed Power Pack 1

Microsoft Monday unveiled details of the first feature update to Windows Home Server (WHS), but said it does not know when it will finish a patch for a data corruption bug that has been scrambling files.

A senior product manager for WHS, Joel Sider, said that the update, dubbed Power Pack 1, will ship "sometime this spring." It will be the first feature enhancement upgrade to the home server operating system, which launched last August.

Among the new features, said Sider, will be support for home PCs running 64-bit versions of Windows Vista, server backup and restore, more granular access privilege settings and multi-file upload and download. "The feedback was neck and neck between Vista 64-bit support and the backup and restore," said Sider. "They were definitely the top two requests."

Although the "Power Pack" label is one Microsoft rarely uses to describe an update -- "Service Pack" is more common for the company -- Sider said another way to think of it is as a minor upgrade in Microsoft's previously-announced alternating minor and major OS updates. "We also wanted to have a name that was kind of fun, in keeping with the product, and one that also said we were turbo-charging Windows Home Server," he added.

The new server backup -- a backup of the backup -- has been among the feature requests posted by users on Microsoft's support forums since before WHS shipped. Power Pack 1 will let users back up portions of the server. "Users will be able to select folders or specific files," confirmed Sider, "whatever they want to offload." The backup and restore feature will also back up the operating system software, so that in the case of a unrecoverable crash, the server will not have to be restored from the original install media.

But while Microsoft had plenty of information to share about Power Pack 1, it had no news on the patch for the data corruption bug that it disclosed the week before Christmas. The bug could hash files edited with Windows Vista Photo Gallery, Windows Live Photo Gallery, OneNote 2003, OneNote 2007, Outlook 2007, Microsoft Money 2007 or SyncToy 2.0 Beta, Microsoft said several days later, only when the server is also occupied with copying large files.

More than a week ago, another WHS product manager, Todd Headrick, promised that that team would work around the clock on a fix. Monday, however, Sider declined to set a timetable for its release.

"We still have no ETA," he said. "The team is working diligently, but the real key here is testing." When the patch is finished, it will be posted to Microsoft's download site, and pushed out automatically to all WHS users.

In the meantime, Microsoft has urged users not to use the listed applications to save or edit files stored on a WHS-powered machine.

Sider also declined to share sales figures for WHS, citing company policy. He said only that it had sold the home server software to users in more than 30 countries, and that the Hewlett-Packard's MediaSmart Server, the first OEM-produced hardware that uses WSH, had been "a best seller right out of the gate" on Amazon.com when it launched last month.

The HP server is sold in two versions -- a US$599 box with 500GB of storage and a US$749 model with 1TB of disk space -- and should reach retail store shelves this week, Sider said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Gregg Keizer

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?