It should have happened years ago; the release of a simple server OS for the masses. Finally, the entire family can back-up their files to the home server, use it to stream music, and store those gobs of digital photos.
Microsoft has just released to manufacturers their Microsoft Home Server OS. This step comes roughly one month after Microsoft had released a candidate version of the new OS to testers. Over 100,000 people have tested what has been touted as the "coolest version of Windows ever", according to Windows Home Server Manager Charlie Kindel. Microsoft Home Server can be used on any home network to store music, files, photos, to provide backup storage for PCs connected, and allow for remote access from anywhere in the world.
Based upon Windows Server 2003, it will be available as a standalone OEM software package. It should be compatible with most every piece of hardware out there, though Microsoft does recommend a 64-bit processor (for optimal performance), though 32-bit will do. Gigabit Lan Ports would sweeten the deal, though of course, many of us still get by on 10/100 base connections.
"It started with a vision that an always available device on the home network was an essential ingredient of a Microsoft platform for the home," said Kindel. "At first there was only one of us, then three, then five... We put together a plan for a plan and executed. The result was an ambitious, yet pragmatic product plan that would deliver real value to consumers."
The HP MediaServer, wrapped up in a very nice case.
Scheduled for a tentative release date of "early fall, late September and early October", there are a number of manufacturer on-board for the launch. Some of worthy mention are Fujitsu-Siemens, Gateway, Iomega LaCie and Medion. But HP will be leading the charge with its MediaSmart Server, running with an AMD 64 processor and 750GB of storage space. Of course, many of us would probably want a terabyte or more of space.
"We'll keep moving forward," said Windows Home Server Senior Product Manager Joel Sider. "There will certainly be future versions of WHS."
Though pricing has yet to be announced, most would place the starting price of Windows based home servers like this at around $800 USD plus. Seems a little steep since you can throw together a pile of parts to build a Linux based server on the cheap. And will Wondows Home Server handle BotTorrent seeding?