News, Windows Home Server

Microsoft Unveils Windows Phone 7 Connector for Windows Home Server 2011, Small Business Server 2011 Essentials

Microsoft today released their Windows Phone 7 Connector for Windows Home Server 2011, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials and Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials. Previewed in January at CES, the apps allow Windows Phone 7 users to connect to their servers whilst on the move, enabling a range of mobile media streaming and sharing features.

To install the Connector, users must download and install a server add-in from Microsoft.com, then visit the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace on their device to download an install the specific app for their server platform. Once installed, the phone can be connected to the server by inputting the server’s domain name (URL), username and password.

Once connected, you are able to view any outstanding alerts from the server dashboard, and can even attempt to resolve alerts automatically from your mobile device.

User accounts can be managed from your mobile handset, with options to view accounts, enable or disable accounts and change the user password. Connected devices can too be viewed, with the ability to check the backup status of connected PCs, as well as start or stop backups. Live tile support ensures you can monitor a variety of server information in real-time, including the number and type of network health alerts, percentage of disk storage used and your server details.

Most home users (and more than a few business users, I’m sure) will be most interested in the Windows Phone 7 Connector’s media streaming capabilities. Once logged in, you’re able to view your Music, Video and Photo libraries on the handset with full thumbnail and album art support. Streaming is available with a simple tap.

As a bonus, photos you take on your Windows 7 device can be uploaded directly to your server, via a new option in the Share menu. A new folder is created in your server’s Photos share to hold images uploaded from your mobile device.

For more on the Windows Phone 7 Connector Release Candidate for Windows Home Server 2011, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials and Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials, head over to the Windows Home Server team blog.

Image credits: Windows Home Server Team Blog

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Terry Walsh is the founder of We Got Served. He started the community in February 2007 with a mission to help families, tech enthusiasts everywhere figure out the technology needed to run the modern home and small business. He's the author of a number of guides to Windows, Windows Server and OS X Server and runs his own successful publishing business. Born and raised in Liverpool, England, Terry has been awarded Microsoft's prestigious Most Valuable Professional Award each year since 2008 for his work on We Got Served.
  • phaze

    Is this bad news for the WHS Phone add-in developers, or maybe Microsoft "collaborated" on some level with them?

    • diehard

      WHS Phone is for the WHS platform. So unless they build for the WHS2K11 platform, it's not a big deal.

  • Jay

    Well may be, but have a look at some of the functionality in the Microisoft app. It is very limited. The video playback has not controls at all. Not even a pause.

    The WHS Phone app is much richer in many areas.

  • guest

    This is nice, but streaming music from your WHS to your phone is not very elegant, data plan hungry, and dependent on 3G coverage.

    What would be MUCH more useful is direct wireless sync between WHS 2011 and WP7.

    Then all your media could be wirelessly syned to your phone as its charging overnight, direct from your WHS, including any newly recorded TV, or newly ripped music, via syng groups.

    • efjay

      Streaming from your WHS is no different from streaming from Netflix, pandora, spotify, Zune, etc but this is 100% your content. Dont see how this is any less elegant than those solutions. And you already have wifi sync with the Zune desktop

    • Steve

      As already stated, Zune does that automatically. My media syncs with my phone wirelessly every night when plugged in.

      • guest

        Read the post guys! I said DIRECT wireless syc.

        Why should be have to keep a second machine switched on all the time to do wireless sync in a whs envonment??

  • urmaster

    Does the server transcode the videos on the fly for this?
    Sounds sweet all I need now is a SBS Essentials 2011 Disc…

  • Mitchell Hennessy

    I'm more interested in the administrative functions allowed from the handset, than media streaming — unless WiFi streaming is allowed.

    I'm kinda digging this…

  • Stone_Cold

    First you must registration on connect.microsoft.com. There are beta programs for WHS2011. One of them ist the Windows Phone 7 Connector and the Add-in for the WHS2011.

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