BetaArchive Logo
Navigation Home Database Screenshots Gallery Image Uploader Server Info FTP Servers Wiki Forum RSS Feed Rules Please Donate
UP: 41d, 22h, 47m | CPU: 30% | MEM: 5919MB of 11997MB used
{The community for beta collectors}

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 
Author Message
 PostPost subject: Windows Vista: Network Computer Sharing (Castle)        Posted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:30 pm 
Reply with quote
FTP Access
Offline

Joined
Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:32 am

Posts
597

Location
TR

Favourite OS
Vista 5212.winmain.050726-1915
Many enthusiasts of Windows "Longhorn" and Windows Vista are familiar with Castle, a feature that allowed users to create a secure networking environment—a Castle—in which users could propagate user profiles across joined computer to access the same accounts and resources across any computer on a home network or a small business network. One could summarize Castle by describing it as Microsoft's vision of a "domain in the home."
Image
The consensus among enthusiasts (myself at one time included) is that the development of Castle was completely cancelled after the "Longhorn" development reset—a notion that is lent credence from Microsoft officials such as Sean Lyndersay—in spite of reports which suggest that it was intended even for the post-reset product. I have always wondered, never knowing until recently, whether Castle was intended for Windows Vista. I recalled conceptual images (including the WinHEC 2006 image of the Network Map); patent descriptions and patent drawings; and indications (e.g., components; Help and Support Center documentation) within pre-release builds that this was the case, but there was no conclusive, explicit confirmation that this was so.

However, I am truly delighted to share that Castle was not only intended for post-reset Windows Vista, but that it was implemented as well. Castle is in post-reset Windows Vista!

Image

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

The following documentation comes from the Help and Support Center in Windows Vista build 5212.winmain.050726-1915. Note that the ability to perform simultaneous backups is a detail not mentioned in pre-reset "Longhorn" documentation.
Quote:
Make it easier to access your files on a network

[This documentation is preliminary and subject to change.]

If you have more than one computer in your home or small office you probably have different files and programs on each of them. There may be times that you would like to access documents, movies, videos, and music stored on a certain computer but someone else is using that computer or it isn't convenient to log on to another computer. Maybe you have recently bought a new computer and would like an easy way to add it to your network without having to set it up for each person that is going to use it. Or perhaps you would like to keep certain computers or files on your network synchronize so that you always have the latest copy of files on each computer. With a Castle, you can easily access and synchronize your files, folders, and user accounts across multiple computers on your network.

A @@Castle@@ is a group of computers on the same network that are used by people you trust. With a @@Castle@@, you can:
  • Easily find and use documents, music, pictures, videos, and favorites regardless of which computer they are stored on
  • Have the same set of user accounts and passwords on all member computers
  • Easily keep updated copies of files on any of the member computers
  • Perform common administrative tasks on several computers at once, such as backing up files and installing updates

A Castle can be a subset of the computers in your home or small office network, or it can include all of them. If you frequently use more than one computer, a Castle can help you get more out of your network.

How is Castle different from a network?

Having a Castle on your network makes it easier for you to access files, use multiple computers, and keep computers synchronized.. With a traditional network, you can locate and access other computers and shared devices, such as printers. You can also share files and access files that have been shared by others with you. However, on a traditional network you are limited to where you store the files you want to share and you cannot access files that you have created that are on other computers unless they are stored in a public location, which means all users of the network have access to them as well. With a Castle on your network, you can privately and securely see and access all files created by you and shared to you by others no matter what computer they are stored on in your network (as long as the computer is a member of the Castle). When you search for files, all of the files on the network that you have permission to access are automatically shown in the search results, as opposed to just seeing the files on your current computer. A Castle also provides you the ability to automatically keep certain files and folders synchronize between computers. This means you can be assured that you have a current copy of a document on your computer even if the document was created and edited on another computer. Castle also provide you with the ability to perform backups on more than one computer at a time or install automatic updates on all of your network computers at once.

How does Castle work?

Castle works by creating a common set of user accounts on each member computer in the Castle. Windows copies the user accounts from each individual computer to all of the computers in the Castle. The account settings are saved on each computer so that people can easily access and share files. The administrator of each computer can choose which users can log on to each computer. This means that all user account are copied to each computer but all users wont be able to log on to your computer if you don't want them to.

What computers can participate in Castle?

Castle can be set up on any computer running Windows Longhorn that is part of a workgroup. Castle cannot be set up on computers that are part of a domain. You must have at least two computers running Windows Longhorn on your network before you can set up a Castle. A Castle can contain a maximum of ten computers. You can set up more than one Castle on your network, but a computer can only be a member of one Castle.

Why is it important to only set up a castle with people and computers that you trust?

Since Castle works by copying user account to all member computers, you should make sure you only set it up with people and computers that you trust. Anyone who has administrator privileges on one computer will have administrator privileges on all computers in the Castle. This means they can install programs, add and remove users, and change computer settings.

Image

Castle can be accessed from the interface through the "Change..." button in the Computer Name tab of the System Properties dialog box.

The Castle service states the following:
Quote:
"Maintains relationships among members of a Castle and facilitates user account synchronization among those computers."

Image

Image
At its latest point in development Castle is referred to as Network Computer Sharing:
Quote:
What is @@network computer sharing@@?

[This documentation is preliminary and subject to change.]

@@Network computer sharing@@ makes it easy for you to sit down in front of any computer on your home network and use it as if you were using your own computer.

With @@network computer sharing@@, on each computer running Longhorn you can:
  • Log on with one user name and password.
  • Access your documents, music, pictures, videos, and favorites.
  • Search for items across all computers.

One might recall that in Lyndersay's statement he referred to peer-to-peer Windows Update distribution via Castle:
Quote:
There were plenty of interesting things about Castle, for what it’s worth. Castle was, as was typical of Longhorn-era projects, quite ambitious. [. . .] I talked with the Windows Update team about using the Castle framework to distribute patches within the home after one system downloads them (patch distribution has be done via a secure distribution because systems basically install them automatically, so if someone can insert bad code that would be a bad thing).

The post-reset Help and Support Center documentation states that Castle during the development of post-reset Windows Vista was intended to distribute updates in a peer-to-peer fashion! Note that this predates the (cloud-reliant) Delivery Optimization feature of Windows 10 by approximately ten years.
Quote:
Castle also provide you with the ability to perform backups on more than one computer at a time or install automatic updates on all of your network computers at once.

Image

Additionally, roaming parental controls, a benefit of Castle discussed in a 2003 patent from Microsoft, is also referred to in post-reset Help and Support documentation in 5112.winmain beta1.050720-1600 (emphasis mine):
Quote:
Using Parental Controls to manage computer activity

[This documentation is preliminary and subject to change.]

Parental Controls help you track and control how people use your computer. You can control which games people play, who they chat and trade e-mail with, which movies they watch, which websites they visit, and the music they listen to. Control when each person logs on to the computer, and see a report of everything the computer has been used for recently. You can even apply Parental Controls to every computer on a home network, if you have one.

_________________
Windows Vista: Network Computer Sharing (Castle) (BetaArchive Wiki) | Windows Vista: Microsoft Speech Center | Windows Vista Saved Search chronicle


Top  Profile
 PostPost subject: Re: Windows Vista: Network Computer Sharing (Castle)        Posted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:06 am 
Reply with quote
Donator
Offline

Joined
Sat Sep 09, 2006 6:43 am

Posts
777

Favourite OS
Win10/Debian Linux
It was effectively turned into Homegroup sharing in Windows 7+, albeit without some of the key features.

_________________
Need disks scanned in the USA? I have a Kryoflux, and am willing to help get your disks archived! I also offer xbox and xbox 360 repair and modding services. PM me for details!


Top  Profile  WWW
 PostPost subject: Re: Windows Vista: Network Computer Sharing (Castle)        Posted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:43 am 
Reply with quote
FTP Access
User avatar
Offline

Joined
Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:35 pm

Posts
68

Location
Germany

Favourite OS
Windows Longhorn
Very beautiful and detailled post! I love to see how things work out. :)


Top  Profile
 PostPost subject: Re: Windows Vista: Network Computer Sharing (Castle)        Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 1:12 am 
Reply with quote
FTP Access
Offline

Joined
Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:32 am

Posts
597

Location
TR

Favourite OS
Vista 5212.winmain.050726-1915
jimmsta wrote:
It was effectively turned into Homegroup sharing in Windows 7+, albeit without some of the key features.

I think I speak for many when I state that I would rather have Castle than HomeGroup. I count at least six key features of Castle that HomeGroup does not provide: User profile replication; backups of content across all joined PCs; device installation across all joined PCs; folder and item replication; roaming parental controls; and peer-to-peer Windows update distribution.
TinaMeineKatze wrote:
Very beautiful and detailled post! I love to see how things work out. :)

Thank you for your kind words. It is a shame that Castle was discontinued and a shame that is perhaps almost equal is that post-reset Windows Vista gets no credit for including it.

One thing that I find particularly interesting (and powerful) is that the Windows Search (emphasis) schema includes properties for Castle. These are:

Quote:
System/Castle/CastleName
"The name of a castle."

System/Castle/CastleGUID
"The GUID for a castle."

System/Castle/ComputerState
"The status of a computer in the castle."

_________________
Windows Vista: Network Computer Sharing (Castle) (BetaArchive Wiki) | Windows Vista: Microsoft Speech Center | Windows Vista Saved Search chronicle


Top  Profile
 PostPost subject: Re: Windows Vista: Network Computer Sharing (Castle)        Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:13 pm 
Reply with quote
FTP Access
Offline

Joined
Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:32 am

Posts
597

Location
TR

Favourite OS
Vista 5212.winmain.050726-1915
Network Computer Sharing a.k.a. Castle is also available in the unreleased "Longhorn" build 5098.winmain_beta1.050628-1740; the screenshot below that depicts the Aero Wizard for the feature purportedly originates from Paul Thurrott.

Image

_________________
Windows Vista: Network Computer Sharing (Castle) (BetaArchive Wiki) | Windows Vista: Microsoft Speech Center | Windows Vista Saved Search chronicle


Top  Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 




Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

All views expressed in these forums are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the BetaArchive site owner.

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group

Copyright © 2006-2019

 

Sitemap | XML | RSS


Affiliate