Here's some unexpected news from HP. The issue here, if you're not familiar, is that HP has dramatically improved the capabilities of its second generation ("Encore") Windows Home Servers, but was only providing a subset of that new functionality to first generation machines. This angered those users, but the rationale was practical: The first generation devices have far too little RAM (512 MB, vs. 2 GB for gen-2 devices) and a lackluster processor, so running all of the stuff that comes in the 2.5 software would be problematic.

Regardless, HP is now going to fully support first-gen MediaSmart users with the 2.5 software. Here's their statement.

We have two updates to share with our MediaSmart Server communities.

We have listened to the customer feedback related to our recent software update availability.  Based on this feedback, we are working to provide a supported path to allow customers to update all generations of their EX Series and LX Series MediaSmart Server products to the current software version.

Due to the generational differences of our platform architectures, we will not be providing the updated software as traditional downloads.  Instead, we will provide complete server image DVD’s through HP support in the same manner as replacement DVD's are provided today.  We expect that there will be certain hardware limitations and/or trade-offs for the various platforms that will be detailed once the new server DVD's are available.

Timing is tentatively scheduled in Fall 2009.  We understand customers would like these updates sooner, but this timing is necessary to adequately develop and test these new software images.  As we get further along in our development, we will provide an updated timetable.

We have also read the inquiries regarding European availability of the MediaSmart Server products.  We are pleased to announce that our European customers can expect to see our LX and EX series products for sale in Europe.  Targeted availability is Fall 2009.

We thank everyone for their continued support of the MediaSmart Server products and appreciate the continued feedback.

So, kudos to HP for fully supporting early adopters. But understand that you will require at least a RAM upgrade to get the full meal deal, or will need to at least disable much of the new functionality.