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Windows Home Server Beta 2 Out

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Microsoft has reportedly released the second beta of its Windows Home Server backup and media server application.

Windows Home Server, first introduced by Microsoft in January at the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show, is aimed at offering users a new way of connecting and managing Windows Vista-enabled PCs, devices, and printers at homes.

The company said the second beta of Windows Home Server has been made available to the general public only after getting it tested by over 1,000 Microsoft employees, and software and hardware partners.

The first beta release was limited to Microsoft employees and hardware partners, but now with the second beta, it is open to the general public as well.

As the company plans on soon extending the beta program, they have invited interested people to join the second beta testing by signing up for it on the special company site (http://connect.microsoft.com/WindowsHomeServer). However, participants will have to provide their own PCs to run the application.

The first server based on the application will be built by HP later this year, and will be called "HP MediaSmart Server".

Presently, Windows Home Server will be made available only through OEMs, and not directly to consumers. The final availability of Windows Home Server is scheduled for the third quarter of this year.

The company also announced the Windows Home Server Blog, which will be track the progress of the application. Besides, General Manager of Microsoft Windows Home Server, Charlie Kinder, will be maintaining a blog where product information/details will be updated.

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