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What's New in Vail Preview Refresh

Microsoft has posted a list of the new features in the recently released Windows Home Server "Vail" preview refresh. If you've not seen this on the Connect site yet, it goes like so:

Server Deployment

Added page to IC for checking the server time and date

On headed setups (IC), if Keyboard layout chosen is non-ascii, then the user is given the choice to toggle keyboard back to English in order to enter an ascii password

Client Deployment

Client installation now using.NET Framework 4.0

Open DNS support/mitigations

Finalizing uninstall process

Client servicing support

  • Offer MSI + MSPs to new clients
  • Offer MSI + MSPs to servicing pipe
  • Web request for versioninfo.xml

Web request and Custom Action for client-side UI OEM branding support

Blocking logic for max number of computers attached to server

Blocking non-ASCII computer names to join

Trim client-language support to match server language

Adding Mac support to client join Web site

Bug fixes and UI updates

Health and Alerts

Full set of health definitions covering client/server backup, storage, networking, etc

Inclusion of additional alert troubleshooting capability

Client side controls for filtering alerts

Alert Email integration – configure the server to send alerts via Email

Updates to alert viewer including organize alerts by computer or alert severity


Device password reset

User password reset

User password policy

User Limits & Warnings


New Storage summary page which provides a high level overview of storage usage on the server including:

  • Folders in the storage pool
  • Other hard drives
  • Server Backup hard drives

Previous Versions for Server Folders are turned on by default and are exposed in folder properties

File system meta-data is replicated for non-duplicated folders to keep non-duplicated folders accessible in case of a single hard drive failure

Check and repair functionality (chkdsk) is now exposed for all server backup hard drives

By default non-default storage pools are locked to prevent accidental data loss

Added a read-only check for folder


“Safe mode” - if an add-in takes down the dashboard , Vail will detect it & allow the user to choose whether it is loaded when the Dashboard restarts

Add-in scrolling” in the tab strip

Dashboard sign in on client UI refresh


New User experience

“Offline” mode – if the user cannot sign into the Launchpad , we will allow them to work in an offline mode , whereby they can access Remote Access link or 3rd party links that do not need connection to the server

“Settings dialog” , that allows the user to customize what alerts they will see on their client

3rd party add-ins to LP can control access on a per user basis

Remote Access


  • OpenDNS support
  • Multi-NIC support for wireless
  • Multi-subnet support for Aurora

Domain Name Infrastructure

  • Enable trusted certificate installation for GITME vanity domains
  • Manual domain name configuration for Aurora

Web UI

  • .NET 4.0 support
  • Limit language switching to server language and English only
  • Updated branding


  • Silverlight 4 support
  • Now playing queue design, paging

Settings UI

  • Trusted certificate manual installation wizard
  • Simplified domain name configuration experience

SDK - APIs to support BPOS integration

Mac Support

Onboarding experience similar as Windows

Managed device in dashboard

Launchpad for the mac

Alert viewer for the mac

Add in provider for the mac


Optimize streaming video server performance (media settings page)

Media Center Integration - New server folders are added to Win7 client computer libraries after client deployment is complete.


Leave HG, view HG password, change HG password wizards.

HG task added to the sharing options getting started task.

HG password-out-of-sync status

Multiple Homegroups in the same network –conflict resolution scenario. Server is in HG and detects that there is a larger HG in the same home network. The HG settings page notifies user to join to existing larger HG.

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