release candidate went live, Windows Home Server (WHS) 2011 has been finalized and released into the wild. The new version of Microsoft's slick, do-it-all server OS is a big step forward from its predecessor.
Built on the Windows Server 2008 R2 base, Home Server 2011 features a simpler dashboard, a better backup solution, dead simple remote access to your home computers, and Silverlight-powered remote media streaming. For a more detailed look at what's new in Windows Home Server 2011, you check out Microsoft's official breakdown.
Drive Extender, of course, didn't resurface for the final release of WHS 2011 and that's something a lot of power users are still pretty irked about. Even without Extender, Windows Home Server offers a boatload of useful functionality and might be a good fit for your home network. Manufacturers have already begun building hardware, so you should be able to pick up a device in the very near future.
An evaluation download for Windows Home Server 2011 will be made available in April -- we'll let you know when the links are ready.