Windows Home Server 2011 and Small Business Server 2011 Essentials Released to Manufacturing

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to experience one of the biggest joys that I get from my job – shipping software. The team I am proud to be a part of officially released the next versions of Windows Home Server and Windows Small Business Server Essentials. Every time I release a piece of software, I like to reflect on where I can see a piece of myself in that release. I feel great about what I see in this release.

The lastest release of the software includes the most appealing, useful and cool version of remote access ever shipped. My team and I in Shanghai owned this piece of the product and I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished. The user experience for remotely accessing shared data and computers in both SBS and WHS has an amazing visual appeal (thanks Frank and the rest of the team that worked tirelessly on the UX). The customizability is fantastic. Every object on the page is a widget that can be moved and customized based on the users’ desires. The media streaming capabilities are unbelievable.

I remember back 2 years ago when we had early prototypes of the feature running. I put my entire media library on my Home Server before going on a trip to Singapore. I recall sitting in Starbucks on Orchard Road in Singapore with full access to all of my music, photos and videos. I was streaming my favorite music thousands of miles away from home while sipping on a latte. I remember how the feature basically worked – and I felt great about it – but that my media library put significant strain on the system due to the size. Up until then, the feature had really only been used with small media libraries and very fast network connections between the server and client.

I came back from that trip and filed a ton of bugs. Scalability, usability, look and feel, actual technical issues. All were covered by the bugs I filed. My team pounced on them and in even the next internal release, many of the issues had been addressed. Now here I sit today, streaming one of my favorite songes (Believer by the Freemasons featuring Wynter Gordon – I felt that an appropriate first song to stream after RTM) as I write this blog post. The feature these days is amazing and flawless. It rivals if not beats any desktop music experience and I can access it from anywhere. As someone who loves music so much and for whom music is such a huge part of my life, I can say without reservation that this is the greatest feature I have ever shipped.

Thank you to the entire team in Shanghai who worked so hard to bring this to market. We accomplished so much, and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss working with you all. Of course we didn’t do it alone, and both thanks and congratulations goes to the entire global Home and Small Business Server team.

Fore more information on WHS and SBS, please subscribe to Sean Daniel’s blog. He does an excellent job of covering our products.

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