Microsoft releases Windows 'Vail' server to manufacturing

Microsoft has released to manufacturing its Windows Home Server 2011 product, codenamed "Vail," company officials said on March 29.

Microsoft has released to manufacturing its Windows Home Server 2011 product, codenamed "Vail," company officials said on March 29.

TechNet and MSDN subscribers will be able to download the final WHS 2011 bits in early April, the same time as an evaluation version will be made available, according to a Microsoft Windows Home Server Team blog post. OEMs are building new form factors incorporating WHS 2011 that will be in the market starting in May, officials added.

“Vail” — a k a Windows Home Server 2011 — is Microsoft’s home server. Microsoft delivered the Release Candidate of Vail in February 2011.

Vail's core Windows enthusiast audience has been none too happy about Microsoft’s decision to remove Drive Extender functionality from the product, but it’s out and staying out. There are some new features in the WHS 2011 product, however, like the inclusion of the Windows Server 2008 R2 core, DLNA 1.5 compliance, new set-up and installation wizards, support for Mac clients, and support for the Windows 7 HomeGroup networking feature.

Microsoft also is expected to release to manufacturing another of its so-called "Colorado" family -- its Small Business Server 2011 Essentials hybrid small-business and cloud server, codenamed "Aurora" -- any time now. I'm thinking that could happen later today or tomorrow....

Update: In fact, Aurora also has RTM'd as of March 29. (Thanks for the pointer, @UltraWindows!) TechNet and MSDN subscribers will be able to download the bits in early April. SBS 2011 Essentials will be available in "all channels" as of May 1, according to Microsoft. SBS 2011 Essentials is a product aimed at those with 25 users or fewer. It will provide a Windows Server 2008 R2 on premises, and access to Office 365 and its various hosted server components in the cloud.

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