Six months ago, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates announced Windows Home Server—an OS whose purpose is to bring functionality like automated backups, centralized storage, and online file sharing to home users who own and use multiple PCs. The folks at Redmond have now finished work on the first release candidate build of the upcoming operating system, and the fruit of their labor is available to both existing beta testers and new sign-ups. The former will receive an email with instructions on how to get the latest build, while others can register for the release candidate by completing a survey accessible through this page.
The final version of Windows Home Server is expected to roll out some time in the second half of this year. Pre-built home server systems based on the operating system have already been announced by HP, Gateway, and LaCie, but other system vendors may yet hop on the Windows Home Server bandwagon before the OS’s release.