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HP drops support for future Windows Home Server

HP will not support the next generation of Microsoft's Windows Home Server and has retired its MediaSmart Server line in the wake of a feature cut by Microsoft
Written by Jack Clark, Contributor on

HP will not provide a platform for the future Windows Home Server release, code-named Vail.

On Tuesday, Microsoft said in a post on its Windows Home Server Blog that HP has no plans to provide a platform for the next generation of Windows Home Server and is retiring its existing MediaSmart server line. The move by HP follows Microsoft's announcement on 23 November that it will drop a popular feature in the product, Drive Extender, but Microsoft stressed that this was not a factor in HP's decision.

Windows Home Server Vail image

The next generation of Windows Home Server will not include the Drive Extender feature. Photo credit: Microsoft

"You may have seen some blog posts about HP's decision announcing the retirement of their MediaSmart Server line, which includes Windows Home Server," Microsoft wrote in the blog. "As such, HP has told us they do not plan to provide a platform for Windows Home Server, code-name 'Vail'. HP has told us [it] will continue to sell the existing version of MediaSmart Server through the end of the calendar year 2010 and will honour service and support agreements."

With HP gone, Microsoft still has Vail partners in the form of Acer and Tranquil, the company added.

The move away from MediaSmart servers was intended to let HP devote further resources to its mobile operating system WebOS, HP said in a statement on Wednesday. "With the recent acquisition of Palm, HP intends to focus resources behind WebOS to take advantage of the large and growing connected device market. As such we have made a decision to transfer our MediaSmart Server team to the WebOS team," HP said.

On Tuesday, Microsoft wrote that the HP news "is in no way related to recent announcements about feature changes in Windows Home Server 'Vail'."

The Drive Extender feature of Windows Home Server allowed multiple storage devices to be drawn together to create a single pool of storage. In comments on the Microsoft blog post at the time, individuals expressed their dissatisfaction with the move and indicated that the feature had been popular.

Drive Extender had been part of Vail since its public beta in April. HP has partnered with Microsoft on Windows Home Server through its MediaSmart server line since the time of Windows Home Server's launch in 2007.

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