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Windows Home Server category grows with the announcement of the Lenovo IdeaCentre D400

August 22nd, 2009 No comments

As reported by COMPUTERWORLD and other sources (see below) earlier this week, Lenovo will be introducing the IdeaCentre D400 to the US next month.  Previously launched in China, Lenovo’s offering will be a great addition to the category of home servers powered by Windows Home Server software.

Announced in conjunction with upcoming Q Series of compact home entertainment PCs, the IdeaCentre D400 home server has an aesthetic design that would suit the living room as well as the home office.  (See Lenovo’s press release for details.)

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Photo: Lenovo IdeaCentre D400 home server

Eugene Saburi, General Manager, Microsoft Solutions Marketing had this to say. "With the IdeaCentre D400 home server coinciding with the availability of Windows 7 on Lenovo laptops and netbooks, consumers will have affordable solution that enables them to unleash the power of their home network.”

With the Acer Aspire easystore and the lineup of HP MediaSmart Servers already on the market, the Lenovo IdeaCentre will provide even more choice for consumers.  We are still waiting on confirmation of where the IdeaCentre D400 home server will be sold.  Let’s hope pre-orders are offered soon!

More articles on the Lenovo announcement:

Lenovo unveils Windows Home Server, tiny home theater PCs
Seattle Times
The company also rolled out several new tiny PCs with home theater capabilities — a sample of its Windows 7 wave lineup, out in time for back-to-school …

Lenovo Q100/Q700 nettops, D400 home server debut
Electronista
Lenovo this afternoon put an end to speculation and launched its IdeaCentre Q series of mini desktops as well as its first Windows Home Server. ..

Lenovo to Introduce IdeaCentre D400 Windows Home Server
Notebooks.com
By Xavier | August 17, 2009 Lenovo’s getting ready to announce the IdeaCentre D400 Windows Home Server. The company posted a teaser image in a twitter post …

Lenovo Reveal Their First Home Server – The IdeaCenter D400
By Terry Walsh
Lenovo release a teaser shot of their debut Windows Home Server, but we’ve uncovered a whole host of pics courtesy of the Interwebs. Check ’em out!

– Steven

Windows Home Server Power Pack 3 BETA – Includes enhancements for Windows 7-based computers

July 17th, 2009 No comments

We are pleased to announce the Windows Home Server Power Pack 3 Beta which improves the Windows Home Server experience with Windows 7 and Windows Media Center by providing the following new features: Backup and restore of computers running Windows 7, Windows 7 Libraries integration, enhancements for Windows Media Center, and better support for netbook computers.

If you are running Windows 7 on your home computer and are a current Windows Home Server user, we need your help!

Important: You will need to sign up as a beta participant of the Windows Home Server program on Microsoft Connect in order to download the Power Pack 3 Beta. https://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer

Connect

New in Power Pack 3 Beta

Windows 7 Backup & Recovery

Windows Home Server performs a full image-based backup of Windows 7-based computers, allowing for a complete computer recovery in the case of a hard drive failure, or restoration of a single file or folder in the event of accidental deletion or loss. After the Windows Home Server Connector software has been installed on a computer running Windows 7, Windows 7 Backup warnings will be suppressed and users will no longer receive a notification to back up their computer. Windows Home Server can back up Windows XP SP2 or later, Windows Vista and Windows 7-based computers.

Windows 7 Backup

Windows 7 – Backup
Windows Home Server completes an automatic image-based backup of Windows-based computers every day.

Windows 7 Libraries

Power Pack 3 Beta will add Music, Photos and Videos shared folders on the home server to Windows 7 Libraries making the content available for applications such as Windows Explorer, Windows Media Center, Windows Media Player and other applications that use Windows 7 Libraries. This allows users to quickly access all their content in one organized place that is always available, searchable and expandable. Users can also search a specific library without having to know where the files are stored.

Windows 7 Libraries

Windows 7 – Libraries – Pictures
Windows Home Server content is automatically added to Windows 7 Libraries after installing the Windows Media Center Connector software.

Windows 7 Jump List

Windows 7 – Windows Explorer Jump List – Music Library
Users access the libraries through Jump Lists by simply selecting Music, Videos or Photos. All content is accessible from one organized location.

Windows Search

Windows Search 4 has been included with Power Pack 3 Beta to improve query search times, indexing times and reliability. If users are searching across multiple computers, extended remote discovery increases the efficiency of searching across all document libraries. Files encrypted with Encrypting File System (EFS) are now supported with search.

The image below is an example of searching across a music library where files are located in multiple places: the home computer Music folder, the home computer Public Music folder, and the home server Music shared folder. Users can add other locations to Windows 7 Libraries.

Windows 7 Search

Windows 7 – Libraries – Music – Searching for Aerosmith music content on the home server
Searching for content in the library folder will not only search the home computer but also search the home server.

Power Pack 3 Beta makes Windows Home Server compatible with netbook computers that have small screen sizes and low resolution. A home server makes a great storage and backup solution for ultra-portable computers.

Windows Media Center Enhancements

Last March, Power Pack 2 added functionality that allowed Windows Media Center and Media Center Extenders to easily access the content on a home server. Power Pack 3 Beta builds on this functionality. When the Windows Home Server Connector software is installed or updated on a Windows Media Center computer, the next time a user starts Windows Media Center they will be prompted to install the Windows Media Center Connector. Users will notice a new Home Server selection in Windows Media Center menu.

Windows Media Center
Windows Media Center view – Home Server

TV Archiving

The TV Archive tile in Windows Media Center will give users the option to move recorded TV content to the home server in a variety of resolutions. The recorded TV shows are archived in the correct resolution for the type of device that will be used for playback. TV Archive is optimized for Windows Media Center computers, Windows Mobile-based phones, and the Zune player, however, any device capable of playing WMV files can take advantage of this feature.

· TV – Original Resolution

· Windows Mobile – 320 x 240, 500 Kbps, .WMV

· Zune – 640 x 480, 1500 Kbps, .WMV

Users can select individual TV shows, a series of shows, or all TV recordings to automatically be moved to the home server. Because Windows Home Server storage space can be easily expanded, users can keep all the TV shows that they want in their collection.

TV Archive

Windows Media Center view – Home Server – TV Archive view

Console Quick View

Console Quick View allows users to see statistics about the home server through Windows Media Center and Windows Media Center Extenders. This is a convenient way to view many aspects of the home server without needing to access the Windows Home Server Console. This feature allows users to view and monitor a number of home server indicators:

· Storage – Pie chart listing the percentage allocation of the home server storage

· Drives – List, size and health of hard drives installed on the home server

· Backup – List of computers being backed up and their current backup status

· Shared Folders – List of Shared Folders by name with health status and duplication status

· Media Counters – Count of music, photos, videos and recorded TV files on the home server

· Health – Health of the entire home network

· Home Server – System information of the home server’s hardware and manufacturer info

 Console View
Windows Media Center view – Home Server – Console View

Timing of the Power Pack 3 final release has not been determined. With your help to test the Beta, we hope to release the update prior to the Windows 7 General Availability date of October 22.  Power Pack 3 will be a free update to existing Windows Home Server users via Windows Update. Thanks for your support!

– The Windows Home Server Team

Windows Home Server – Report from Computex 2009

June 8th, 2009 No comments

For those of you that have been reading this blog for a while, you may remember Dispatch from Computex Taipei (Posted: Tuesday, June 03, 2008).  Last year was the Windows Home Server team’s first time attending Computex. 

Fast forward one year.  Microsoft had a major presence at Computex last week which included a large booth, broad marketing & PR activities, and a June 3 keynote in the main convention auditorium.  One of the significant announcements was the October 22nd General Availability date for Windows 7.

For the Windows Home Server team, Computex was an important opportunity to meet with existing and prospective hardware manufacturers.  We also strove to increase industry awareness.  Over 14,000 international buyers and attendees visited the Microsoft booth! 

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Our team in Taipei organized a terrific event presence.  In the Microsoft booth, there was a section dedicated to Windows Home Server.  On the main stage there was a 25-minute demonstration that featured: Easy setup, protecting PCs and files, easy storage expansion, smart storage management, media streaming, and home surveillance. 

We were really pleased to unveil the D-Link ViewCam add-in for Windows Home Server, which allows control of a wide range of D-Link’s IP cameras from the Windows Home Server Console.  Also notable, each scenario was demonstrated using a netbook as the interface and playback device for Windows Home Server.

Of course no booth would be complete without a "muscle beach" of cool hardware.  Acer, Foxconn, Lenovo, and VIA hardware designs were showcased in the booth.  For those of you seeing the Lenovo model for the first time, it is currently only available in China. 

 

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Acer Aspire easyStore H340

Lenovo IdeaCentre Q500

VIA NSD 7800

-Steven

Categories: add-ins, events, netbooks, Platform, Team, Windows 7 Tags:

Update improves Windows Home Server Console display on some Netbooks

May 27th, 2009 No comments

There is good news if you are one of the many people that purchased a netbook computer over the past while. A home server and a netbook can be a complementary solution. In addition to the image-based backup software included in Windows Home Server, the ability to augment the netbook storage space with a home server is a no-brainer. Shad Larsen commented on this solution in a post, “Making your Netbook functional using Windows 7 and Windows Home Server.


Netbook


Photo: Acer Aspire One A150


One of the benefits of a netbook is the small size and portability of the device.  However, that size means a smaller screen and less visual real estate for applications. As a result, the Windows Home Server Console may not have displayed correctly on some netbook computers. The latest update, described in the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 963032, enables the Windows Home Server Console to support a resolution of 1024 x 600.


The update will automatically install as part of Windows Update if Automatic Updates is enabled on the home server. (How to turn on automatic updates.) Users can also click Update Now on the Settings tab of the Windows Home Server Console.


– Steven