On November 5, Hewlett-Packard -- the biggest and best known of the Windows Home Server (WHS) OEMs -- began taking orders for its HP MediaSmart Servers.
Microsoft is positioning WHS as a "'stay-at-home' server that delivers the benefits of powerful server technology used by many people at work within a simple, easy-to-use solution for the home."
Customers can order the HP MediaSmart systems on Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Buy.Com, CircuitCity.com and CompUSA.com. The systems will be shipped to customers and be availble via "other leading retailer Web sites" some time later this month, according to Microsoft.
HP originally was slated to begin shipping the MediaSmart Server on September 15. It postponed the launch of its systems to wait for an update to the final code from Microsoft. Microsoft delivered the first WHS update, which included a number of fixes and a few pieces of new functionality, to customers and OEM partners in September.
The MediaSmart servers are not the first WHS units available to customers. Now shipping are the Tranquil PC T7-HSA Tranquil Harmony Home Server and the Velocity Micro NetMagix HomeServer, as well as a number of different configurations from system builders, such as Ace Computers, Advantec, PC Club and Universal Systems Inc. A number of other OEMs, including Gateway, Fujitsu Siemens and Intel, are slated to ship WHS platforms in the coming months.
Microsoft already is working on the next couple of WHS releases -- a "minor" build known as UR1 and a "major" release some time after that. The next collection of fixes/updates for the existing WHS build is due out later this month.