Microsoft Fixes Windows Home Server Glitch

Power Pack 1 fixes a data corruption bug in the software that first arose last December. Now that the issue has been addressed, solution providers are expecting a surge in demand for Home Server, which is designed for multiple-PC households that need to store, manage, back up and remotely access digital content.

"I consider this release like a clean slate for Windows Home Server to start over," said Susan Bradley, a Microsoft Small Business Specialist partner in Fresno, Calif. "The corruption issues have to be put behind it. While the issues are tolerable for geeks, they are not for rank and file home users."

Power Pack 1 adds support for PCs running 64 bit Vista, improves the software's remote access functionality, and gives users the ability to back up shared folders to external hard drives, said Joel Sider, senior product manager for the Windows Server Solutions Group.

Microsoft also has updated the software development kit for Home Server to allow partners to build applications that augment the functionality of Home Server. For example, a third party application called WebGuide makes it possible to stream media from Home Server to a remote location, allowing users to access content on the road, Sider said.

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Microsoft's OEM partners are in the process of incorporating Power Pack 1 into their Home Server-based hardware, Sider said. Hewlett Packard is working on a software update for its Media SmartServer product that includes server antivirus from McAfee and media streaming technology from PacketVideo.

Microsoft in December warned that using certain applications to save files to Home Server could cause files to become corrupted, including Vista Photo Gallery, Windows Live Photo Gallery, Office OneNote 2007, Office OneNote 2003 and Office Outlook 2007. Microsoft later expanded this group to include Excel and Windows Media Player 11, Photoshop Elements, Adobe Lightroom, Zune Software, Apple iTunes, Mozilla Thunderbird, and WinAmp.