Windows Home Server Beta 2 review
As impressive as the feature list is, there are notable omissions that server aficionados will lament. There’s no mail-hosting provision, no support for Active Directory and you can’t use it as a router. Media buffs will also be disappointed that it isn’t possible to install TV tuners or stream media over the web. Microsoft is keen to point out that third-party companies are free to develop for the platform, although it isn’t yet clear how much support will be available. It’s also worth noting that the only security built in is the Windows Server 2003 firewall. With port forwarding in place, your home server PC is transparently connected to the internet via that port, so Microsoft needs to be ultra-vigilant where stamping on any discovered exploit is concerned.
The backup and dynamic storage features of this product alone could make it very attractive, and the beta 2 code has all the main pillars in place. There’s still a fair bit of fit-and-finish work to be done, and it’s currently a little too vocal with error messages for our liking. But, with a few months to sort out these issues (devices are due in the second quarter of this year), it does look promising.