Microsoft finalizes Windows Home Server code

Microsoft finalizes Windows Home Server code

Summary: Microsoft announced on July 16 that it has finished development of its Windows Home Server (WHS) product and has released the code to manufacturing. Microsoft says a variety of WHS systems will be in the market in time for this year's holiday season.

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Microsoft announced on July 16 that it has finished development of its Windows Home Server (WHS) product and has released the code to manufacturing.

From the WHS team blog:

"Today we are announcing that Windows Home Server has been released to manufacturing (RTM). We have finalized the software and now handing it off to our OEM partners. The evaluation version (with 120 day evaluation period) and the system builder version are also heading into the distribution channels and will be available in the next couple of months. French, German and Spanish versions will be finalized shortly, and OEM products will hit retail shelves this fall. "

Also on July 16, Microsoft made public the names of two more OEMs who will make available WHS variants "in time for the holidays this year." The two: Fujitsu Siemens, with a product called the "Scaleo Home Server," and Iomega, with an expandable consumer networking product that will include up to four hot-swappable drives.

Windows Home Server is designed to act as a central hub for storage of music, photos, and other files. It will include automatic backup and restore, as well as remote file-access capabilities. The product will be sold exclusively through OEMs and system builders.

Microsoft delivered the near-final Release Candidate of WHS to testers on June 12.

Microsoft has said to expect the first WHS systems to be available this fall from Hewlett-Packard (Microsoft's original WHS OEM partner, first unveiled in January). Other OEM hardware and software partners who've committed to develop WHS systems include Gateway and consumer storage vendor LaCie and Medion International.

Topics: Windows, Hardware, Microsoft, Servers

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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20 comments
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  • Paging Mr. Mike Cox.... <nt>

    nt
    Hallowed are the Ori
  • I cannot wait

    I have not used any of the Beta versions, but I am excited about this. I know I know LInux can do this for free, and Mac OS is better, but I choose to use Microsoft. I do hope that Windows home server will detect all my computers and devices. I do have a Mac running 10.4, Ubuntu Linux Fiesty Fawn, both XP Pro and Home, and Vista Ultimate and Home Premium. I also have a Wii, and a PDA.

    I will be impressed if Home Server connects to all these devices. Only time will tell.
    BroGnorik
  • MSDN release

    Does anyone know if Microsoft plans on releasing this to MSDN subscribers?
    aulax@...
    • I would tend to doubt it

      MSDN has software developers can use for business purposes. This is a "Home" server targeted to HW mfg to sell with the box. Microsoft may later sell a standalone software version but I would not hold my breath waiting for it to show up on MSDN.

      I don't recall the lsst consumer product that was on MSDN and I have been a subscriber for about 7 years now.
      Confused by religion
      • a couple

        XP with Media Center was not a Pro Version and it's on MSDN
        I also have the iso's for XP Home and I'm pretty sure I have the low end Vista version as well on MSDN.

        I would hope to see this on MSDN too as I would like to develop snap-ins for it, like stream from DVD changer directly (no-rip and stream)
        LinuxHippie
  • This must be a big step (side-ways) ... :)

    [i]Windows Home Server is designed to act as a central hub for storage of music, photos, and other files. It will include automatic backup and restore, as well as remote file-access capabilities. The product will be sold exclusively through OEMs and system builders.[/i]"

    And [b]what exactly[/b] is the functionality that MS has to produce code for in the WHS "platform"? What "new" code is required to do backups or allow remote file access? If these capabilities are absent then this platform is extremely primitive and underwhelming.

    btw [b]any[/b] UNIX/BSD OS has "automatic" backup and remote access capabilities since the early eighties. Coming out to brag about something so commonly available on other platforms makes the people who put together MS "system" code so under-qualified and exemplary under-achievers.

    But technological under-achievement is one of the main pilars in MS's anti-technology bible.
    michael_t
    • Another reader...

      ... who fell off the clue-wagon.
      Confused by religion
    • The achievement

      is that it's optimized for a Windows environment and easy enough for a typical home user knucklehead to use.
      Michael Kelly
      • optimized for a Windows environment ...

        "[i]optimized for a Windows environment...[/i]" i.e., look easy and pretty but fail sufficient # of times to generate meaningful revenue to MS support
        michael_t
        • Microsoft Product Support Services...

          ... is a constant loss leader - they make no money on support and consistently lose money, hand over fist.

          Try again.
          Confused by religion
    • You Don't Understand ....

      You had rather rant and rave and bash anything MS instead of understand what WHS is going to do for Home Users. I know what it is going to do because I have been and am currently one of the beta testers - you laud the nicities of Linux but where MS will beat the pants off of Linux in this nich is that WHS is Sooo dang easy to install and use and is so user friendly you almost forget it is there. You don't have to spend hours or weeks of your life trying to figure out how to make it work. This is going to be one of the great products from MS if they don't price it out of the reach of most users. It would also be nice if they would release a final retail software version we can run on our own machines instead of having to purchase someone elses box and equip. That stinks!
      blc1839
  • Z-Wave.....

    Not a killer app until they (any they) add's z-wave support. then it will truely rule.
    JoeMama_z
    • Sounds like a cool bit of tech - but...

      ...why not let the Z-Wave alliance people come up with the software? Third parties are, I'm sure, quite welcome to develop stuff for it.
      Wolfie2K3
  • Ubuntu Home Server

    http://www.ubuntuhomeserver.org
    foerdi
    • Thanks for the Link....

      Will be watching this with great interest.
      blc1839
  • This is gonna be a big ole Belly Flop!

    There are no "Must Haves" in this product. I think there could have been add-ons that would have saved it. Media Center should have been on there for SURE. In addition to some VoIP, Email, etc.

    I foresee this product going nowhere!
    brittonv
    • I have to disagree.

      I've been running this since the first Beta. It has been very stable and all the features have worked nicely. The annoyances have been addressed in each new build so they never got that annoying so I'm thinking this will be a very useful system for a newbie looking to take the next step and backup their data and share it with other pc's in their home. However, why wouldn't MS include Media Center on a box that was born to run it. A stable OS (Windows Server 2003), a headless PC (I won't let anyone touch my Media Center), and snap in storage (moving season 1 of Heroes takes forever, why not just add more size to your partition). I guess MS will hold on to that for the next version, but I think adding VoIP and a mail server would have blow away most newbies, which this is built for. BTW, all you Linux fanboys, newbies can't build Linux servers so don't bother replying to tell me that this could all be done on Linux. Anyway, I'm sure VoIP and mail servers will be built as snap-ins by 3rd parties or by enthusiats once the get their hands on this product. It has a lot of potential and I think it's gonna be a big hit for MS.
      dseward
    • Ok.. So you're an ID10T...

      There's nothing written anywhere that says ANY bit of software (or hardware, for that matter), is a "MUST have". And if you think otherwise, that's nothing more than slick marketing.

      There ARE, however some pretty cool things built into WHS and if you'd sit down and THINK about it (yes, I know... it must hurt when you do that), you MIGHT actually agree.

      The system backup built into WHS, for instance, is very slick. Let's say you've got three Windows XP Home computers. All of them are up to date as far as updates go, but they all have different hardware inside. WHS backs up all three boxes. Instead of making three backup files - all of which can span several GB, it backs up each individual file only ONCE and references it as part of the catalog for each machine. That can save a TON of space especially if you've got a piece of software that insists on installing duplicate files. Now, I don't know about you, but I call that a pretty INTELLIGENT backup solution.

      Beyond that, WHS makes server administration easy enough for even the greenest newbies to use. The whole point of this is to help pretty much ANYONE take care of their computers and their data and share it on their own local network.

      No, it's not designed to be put to use in a business environment. This isn't supposed to be home version of an Exchange server. Nor is it designed to be a VOIP gateway. It's designed to be a HOME appliance for backing up and sharing files on your network.
      Wolfie2K3
  • Must - haves

    WHS lets you use a cheap dynamic IP (vs static) yet still allows you to access your files remotly. Duplicating Media Center would not add to its value but it can be storage for your Media Center.
    Techref6060
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