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Microsoft testing Home Server update

Software maker says it hopes to unleash "Power Pack 3"--with improved Netbook and Windows 7 compatibility, and improved TV show backup--before releasing Windows 7.

Microsoft is aiming to release an update to its Windows Home Server product ahead of Windows 7's commercial launch in October. The Power Pack 3 update includes improved support for Windows 7 and Netbooks, among other features. Microsoft

Microsoft on Friday said it has launched beta testing of a new update to its Windows Home Server product.

The software maker said in a blog post that "Power Pack 3," as the feature pack is known, will add improved compatibility with Windows 7 and Netbooks, as well as improved backup of TV shows.

Power Pack 3 will be a free update for existing Home Server owners, Microsoft said.

"Timing of the Power Pack 3 final release has not been determined," Microsoft said. "With your help to test the beta, we hope to release the update prior to the Windows 7 general-availability date of October 22."

Pitched as a way to manage multi-PC households and backup data, the notion of a home server has been a tough sell. Microsoft first announced the product at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show.

The last update to Windows Home Server, Power Pack 2, was released in March. An earlier Power Pack update, released last year, fixed an important data corruption bug.