Windows Home Server goes mobile… Phone!

Windows Home Server goes mobile… Phone!

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[Today’s post comes courtesy of Joel Burt who is demonstrating Vail + WP7 at the Microsoft Booth at CES]

This week at CES we unveiled a new WP7 add-in to be soon made available for Windows Home Server Code Name “Vail”.  As I have spent all this week showing many of the attendee’s at CES, I wanted to make sure everyone got a chance to see what’s in store for Windows Phone 7 users come the next version, “Vail”.

The Windows Phone 7 add-in creates a new feature on your Windows Phone which is currently called, “My Server”. (However keep in mind as this is in beta, and we expect the name to change when the final product is released.)

The Windows Phone feature requires a Windows Home Server “Vail” setup and running with the Remote Web feature enabled.


Selecting, “My Server” brings us to the first setup screen where you are asked to add your home server connection information.


From here, clicking “add an account” will get you started and on your way to the simple setup wizard.


Enter your Windows Home Server’s Domain name and click Submit.


Once you have submitted the server domain address, you are presented with a request for your username and password. The user account information needed here is the same information that you would use to access the Windows Home Server’s shared folders inside your home. You also have an additional option to add the Administrator Access if you’d like. Adding the administrator’s access will enable you to see your Windows Home Server’s network alerts.


After inputting all the required information, go ahead and click “Sign In”.

If you have entered all the information, including Administrator, you should have 3 screens that you can scroll across; Alerts, Media & Account. Without the Administrator Access enabled, you will only have 2 screens; Media & Account.

Alerts Screen

Just like the Alert option on the Dashboard, you will be presented with all the Alert Notifications on your Windows Home Server.


The Alert information is populated with the same great details the Dashboard would provide. The Windows Phone 7 will display information on the issue at hand and possible ways to resolve the problem.


If you dig further, you are given the ability to Disable/Enable the alert and to even try and repair (when possible – for example, router issue).


Media Screen

With all your music, photos and videos placed on your Windows Home Server, why not take advantage of it? By selecting any of the 3 options, you are presented with your library of content. Smooth streaming music, photos and even videos right from your home to your mobile device away from home!








Account Screen

The account screen presents you with the ability to logout of the Windows Home Server Add-in.



The Windows Phone 7 “My Server” app also adds an option under picture sharing. This option will upload pictures to your home server if selected as long as you’re still logged in!

Start by taking a picture with your phone and opening the options.


After opening the option menu, select “share” to open the sharing options.


Tap “upload to My Server” and let your Windows Phone 7 handle the rest!

The Windows Phone will create a new folder with its “phone name” called Mobile Uploads within the Windows Home Server pictures folder. Inside this folder, you can view all the photos you have uploaded from your phone both inside and outside your home.


If you are at CES make sure you come by the Microsoft Booth area, and check this out for yourself!

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  • @byKnight - you make an excellent point (that Media should be integrated into the Hubs). By all means have the media accessible via the My Server route, but if Hubs are the WP7 equivalent of W7 Libraries, then media should also be accessible via the Hubs.

    Yet another example that demonstrates a lack of joined-up thinking in Microsoft?

  • Nice. But I thought the whole point of WP7 was that I don't have to know where my pictures, music, etc. are stored. I can just get them through the appropriate hub. So why don't you integrate the photos, music and video from My Server into the respective hubs on the WP7? When playing music on my phone, I should only have to go to one place to do that.

  • I think getting rid of drive extender is a great decision.  It's hard to recover data from a DE disk.  It will be nice to have the ability to plug a drive into any computer to retrieve data.  I think vail will continue to have support from people who have sense.  People who don't rant, rave, and complain because they don't get their way.

    Any idea when WP7 is coming to sprint?

  • NNate
    0 Posts

    This is nice and all, but honestly without DE who cares?  You've already alienated your whole community and a number of plug-in developers have stopped development.  

    As an iPhone user I was interested in switching to WP7 and Vail for this forseeable feature.  However, after the DE debacle I have no desire to touch WP7 or Vail.

  • "and to even try and repair (when possible – for example, router issue)" IMO this is the worst of all possible examples. If there's router issues it's higly unlikely you will be able to connect at all

  • Exactly why should anyone care given that Home server is a dead product.

  • sbank93
    0 Posts

    Time to switch to a rock solid OS like Solaris 10 w/ZFS.  I won't have backups of my laptop's OS, but as long as I just keep all my personal data on a mounted ZFS Z-RAID pool, it is all I ever really need.

    WHS v1 was great, until I had a catastrophic failure with DEv1.  If you can't rely on an OS which is supposed to be "server class" what good is it?  Now with Vail up in the air time for me to switch.  Sorry MSFT.

  • Over a month since your last post and this is all you have?  What about Vail?  Sorry, but this is pretty sorry.

  • Looking forward to the refresh without drive extender.  It will give me a chance to try out a raid five setup.  Does anyone know if there will be a beta release of breckenridge along with aurora and vail?

  • Is It possible this (Code Name “Vail” functionality can be used on the Zune?

  • Can we assume that the final app will be better-formatted for the device than this sample? It looks like there's a lot of scrolling...

  • gbinder
    2 Posts

    That's a cool app, can't wait to get it. BUT: without Media Center on Vail, no Drive Extender,... there are apps like Smart Potato that are released (!) and offer also streaming... from a Media Center PC.

  • Sounds good. And for all how will stick to V1, check out this

    Ok, it's not for free (3.99€) but works great.

  • Great, but mute now I can't fit my data on a Vail shared drive - im looking at moving to Unraid. Any other recommended alternate large storage OS's now that D.E is dead?

  • I second NateB2. No Drive Extender  = No Vail

  • Nice to hear that WHS is making an appearance at CES, although I was expecting to hear more concrete information.  Any update on the post by Michael Leworthy last November? - "Let me completely confirm we are 100% committed to Vail, and continue to work on all the core features outside of Drive Extender. We fully expect to be able to show some of our new and partnered OEM solutions at CES." (

  • It's cool... ish. With all due respect, it's a series of web services providing upload and download from our WHS and a shiny Silverlight client - this could be achieved pretty easily with WHS v.1

  • Great app.  For all those people still posting about drive extender, please, get over it already.

  • NiallG
    10 Posts

    So will this support streaming of Media Center's .wtv format recorded tv files to WP7?

  • bgrigg
    0 Posts

    Yeah, I've heard there are still a lot of issues with Vail.  And even though I agree with the decision to remove Drive Extender from Vails bigger brothers (SBS 2011 Essentials & SS 2008 R2 Essentials) because of LoB apps, I think it's a stupid move on the WHS product.  Unless there's going to be a DR replacement OoB, relying on WHS hardware vendors or 3rd party is a bad decision for the consumer/home market.

  • Will the photo upload be original size or smaller? Also, will video upload be supported?

  • NateB2
    4 Posts

    So, either I have a great WP7 app or Drive Extender v1?  As much as I think the app is cool, it still won't help the storage problems I will be having without DE.  All the front-end goodness in the world can't make up for a bad foundation, and since the foundation is gone without DE, the front-end stuff just can't make up for that loss.

    Bottom line:  I'm sticking with WHS v1 and then moving somewhere that has a DE-like capability, no matter how many phone apps or other capabilities are added to (F)ail.

  • JohnCz
    204 Posts

    Nice, just curious if this addin provides a mechanism for searching your media libraries?  If so, could you provide a screenshot of that. Thank you.

  • What about Drive Extender?  No mention of it!  Did you forget about us customers?!

  • This is great! But...and a big but... I've been waiting for a year for Vail before setting up a WHS. When will we actually see it?

  • Fonze1
    0 Posts

    Looks awesome. Is the app going to be ported to iPhone and Android as well?

  • Holy crap. Great idea guys.