Silverlight revolutionizes beta of next Windows Home Server

One of Silverlight video's biggest advantages to date has been the server's ability to tweak the bitrate of video playback as it's being played back, and as the bandwidth of the connection varies. It's the smooth streaming feature that premiered last June with Silverlight 3. Now, with Silverlight 4 already well under way, Microsoft this week premiered a public beta of a forthcoming release of Windows Home Server, which will be capable of smooth-streaming video to any Silverlight-enhanced client via the Web.

With the new server software, code-named "Vail" (as in Colorado, not "veil" as in fabric cover), the new generation of DLNA home video and audio components -- including Blu-ray players and notebook PCs -- will be able to receive "pushed" setup information through the home's wireless router, enabling those components to connect to the wireless network. It will be the new Windows Home Server that does the pushing, via the "Play To" functionality that already premiered in Windows 7 but has yet to be tested in a full server setting.

"Vail" will also be the first Home Server rendition that plays the role the system should have been born to play: captain of the Homegroup. For the first time in Microsoft's history, the Homegroup feature has made network connectivity actually easy. With "Vail," libraries enrolled in the Homegroup become pushed to users' computers throughout the home, and shared by user name rather than system ID.

"DLNA enables your home server to participate in a 'Play To' environment as a Digital Media Server (DMS)," reads the reviewer's guide to the "Vail" server, published today. Other DLNA-compatible devices -- TVs, stereos, your Xbox 360 (in Windows Media Center Mode) and more -- can automatically find your home server from within your home network and then stream videos, music, and pictures on demand from it."

Streaming audio from your Home Server to a client that runs Silverlight, also enables this animated album cover showcase. What will be interesting to see is whether mobile platforms on which Silverlight may run, will also be capable of presenting this same showcase. That could change the entire ballgame for many handset or netbook users who are currently stuck with substandard MP3 player apps. Imagine a media world where playback capabilities and experience are determined by your server, not by your device's manufacturer.

Microsoft advises that "Vail" beta testers use clean installs only -- very clean, in fact. The company would rather you not install "Vail" on a hard drive that has anything on it, including another operating system -- wipe the partition clean first. Keeping true to its promise made in 2008, this server kernel is 64-bit only. A minimum 160 GB hard drive is required, which is fair enough if you stick to building a test system using parts made within the last three years.

Microsoft this week premiered a public beta of a forthcoming release of Windows Home Server, which will be capable of smooth-streaming video to any Silverlight-enhanced client via the Web.

View Article



Comments

  • There are no comments yet. Be the first to comment!

Leave a Comment
  • Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.

Top White Papers and Webcasts

  • Microsoft® Office 365 is a top choice for enterprises that want a cloud-based suite of productivity/ collaboration applications. With Office 365, you get access to Microsoft™ Office solutions practically anytime, anywhere, on virtually any device. It's a great option for current Microsoft users who can now build on their experience with Microsoft™ solutions while enjoying the flexibility of a cloud-based delivery. But even organizations with no previous investment in Microsoft will find that …

  • Enterprises are typically overwhelmed with incredible volumes of alerts that lack context and are not easily correlated across their technology stacks and silos. It can be incredibly challenging for large enterprises to detect and resolve incidents across multiple environments. When enterprises do detect challenges, communicating and acting efficiently through the right tools can be a daunting proposition. IT teams can provide real value if they collaborate and use agile methods for enterprise DevOps to move …

Most Popular Programming Stories

More for Developers

RSS Feeds

Thanks for your registration, follow us on our social networks to keep up-to-date