Windows Home Server 'Vail': A web based media center?

Summary:Windows Home Server 'Vail' looks at the moment like a potential web based version of Windows Media Center. Could it be?

Mary Jo and I were talking last night about Windows Home Server "Vail", the upcoming operating system to take over previous home server editions. After a half-hour download and an additional fifteen minutes installation time, I had it installed on my home computer.

I have a long history with Windows Home Server. Back in 2006 when I was blogging with a group of friends, I personally infuriated Bill Gates after I announced basically what he was going to speak about in his keynote speech at CES that year - the initial launch of Windows Home Server.

Gallery To view the full screenshot gallery of Windows Home Server 'Vail', including the remote web interface and server options and configuration, click here.

After playing with this edition for no more than a day, it's clearly no where near finished and stands in at the fourth community technical preview at this stage. But the potential is huge, and I genuinely see this as a fantastic solution for house-sharing students.

It only comes in 64-bit as it is based on Windows Server 2008 R2, the server system designed to support Windows 7. It requires at least 120GB to install and the download/installation package comes in at just over 3GB.

Read more: Early version of Windows Home Server 'Vail' leaks to the Web

The most fun I had was through the the remote web interface; allowing you to remotely view your files, documents, music and videos from anywhere else in the world with an Internet connection.

The web interface looks and feels like Windows Live Home (wave 4), and when playing music or video acts between Windows Media Player and Windows Media Center. While this build is an early one, they have this functionality in place already and can only expect bigger and better things.

What do you think? Could this be a media center killer?

Topics: Browser, Hardware, Mobility, Operating Systems, Servers, Software, Windows

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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