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VIDEO: Windows Home Server ''Vail'' Beta

Codenamed Vail, Microsoft today showed off a little bit of Windows Home Server along with the announcement that the Beta version is now available for download.

Redmond did reveal some information about the build but warned users that things are still in the development stage and therefore, subject to change. Microsoft said so far, the new iteration of Windows Home Server will include support for multi-PC backup and restore, simplified setup and user experience, and expanded development of customization tools for partners via a new SDK.

Microsoft also had a few important notes for users planning to install the beta:

In Vail, we’re moving to a new underlying server platform that will only run as a 64-bit OS. We do not recommend running Vail on a 32-bit PC or existing Windows Home Server systems (even 64-bit Home Server systems) because there may be compatibility issues with some OEM drivers. Since it is still in ‘beta,’ please install the Vail code on a secondary computer as opposed to existing Windows Home Server v1 OEM systems (not even 64-bit systems) If you do install the beta on an existing system, you may experience a number of problems, including the inability to run WHS v1 add-in applications (even those provided by OEMs). Installing on a secondary machine will help ensure the best possible user experience, and we would like your feedback on what this scenario is like. Installation of the Vail OS on a PC will also require users to wipe all data from that PC or device. The hardware requirements for Vail call for a 1.4 GHz x64 processor, 1 GB RAM, and at least one160 GB hard drive. Full details and additional requirements will be posted on the Microsoft Connect download site.

No word on a release date other than, "We're not going to ship it until it's ready."

Click here to go to the beta download page.