Microsoft finalizes Windows Home Server ‘Vail’ RC, download due Thursday

By Tom Warren, on 1st Feb 11 10:20 pm with 6 Comments

Microsoft said on Tuesday that it has finalized the Release Candidate version of Windows Home Server codenamed ‘Vail’.

Microsoft’s Windows Home Server team tweeted the following message on Tuesday:

“Woo hoo! We signed off on the final #RC (Release Candidate) of #vail this morning. On connect soon –”

Microsoft's Twitter messsage

Microsoft quickly removed the message shortly afterwards. WinRumors understands the company is planning to release the Release Candidate build to it’s Connect site on Thursday. WinRumors has reached out for further clarification on why the RC confirmation was removed but at the time of writing has not received a response.

Windows Home Server ‘vail’ is currently in beta testing and will be available later in 2011. Microsoft recently issued a workaround for beta copies of Microsoft’s next-generation Windows Home Server product that were due  to expire on January 10. Microsoft issued instructions on how to delay the expiry to mid-March. Microsoft announced in November that it plans to remove the Drive Extender functionality from Windows Home Server “Vail”, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials and Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials. In a surprising move the software giant explained that, due to customer feedback, it would be pulling the feature. Microsoft heard from customers, during the Vail and SBS 2011 beta’s, that many users are expanding their data use to 1TB and 2TB drives. Microsoft had originally planned to continue supporting multiple internal and external hard drives. Drive Extender allowed users to take small drives and pool them together to create a simple volume.

The move angered many die hard Windows Home Server fans and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer promised to look into the removal. Shortly after Microsoft’s announcements, HP said it would ditch any plans for future Windows Home Server devices. Microsoft issued a statement on HP’s decision, stating: “This news is in no way related to recent announcements about feature changes in Windows Home Server Vail.” Microsoft says it plans to work closely with other partners such as Acer, Tranquil and other smaller System Builders to bring “the best solution to market.”

Thanks to Robert McLaws for the Twitter picture

  • GP007

    They should have kept drive extender in and just had it off by default, then users could just turn it on if needed.

  • Tonious

    Drive Extender; the reason Paul Thurrott is bashing M$. Even Leo at, according to my observes, feels pity for Him.
    Move on Paul!

  • anonymous

    Windows Home Server ‘Fail’

    • Wourelia

      How original…

  • Quentin Calvez

    With no drive extender feature. I see no advantages for vail vs Windows Server (the rice apart…).

  • grumpy

    Should’ve had Media Center :(