Print 28 comment(s) - last by Ammohunt.. on Dec 2 at 3:38 PM

The largest supporter of Windows Home Server calls its quits

When it rains it pours. Last week we learned that Microsoft was dropping the popular Drive Extender feature from the next version of Windows Home Server, codenamed "Vail". Today we here even more damning news: HP is pulling out of the Windows Home Server market.

This is a huge blow to both fans of HP's tiny little MediaSmart Servers and to Microsoft. HP was easily the highest profile and largest shipping customer of Windows Home Server devices and this news could very well be a death blow for the platform.

For its part, HP says that it will instead be focusing on bringing out webOS products in 2011 instead of working on niche products like MediaSmart Server. According to WeGotServed, lower than expected sales for the servers were probably a big reason for pulling out of the market, although the removal of Drive Extender in Vail probably didn't do HP any favors either.

The Windows Home Server Team responded to the news on its blog reiterating that HP will continue selling its current MediaSmart Server products through the end of the year and that it will continue to support its current customers. Microsoft also explicitly denied any claims that the removal of Drive Extender was behind the motivation of HP to abandon the platform.

The future of the Windows Home Server platform doesn't exactly look bright now -- with HP now out of the mix, Microsoft could only offer up Acer and Tranquil as strong supporters of the platform.

“Vail will have a big impact on the home media environment, providing an easy streaming and seamless digital file sharing experience for consumers, and Acer is excited to be alongside Microsoft delivering on this goal,” said Gianpiero Morbello, Acer Group Corporate Vice President Marketing & Brand.

Maybe Microsoft knows something that we don't, but Vail could very well end up meaning "Fail" come next year.

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RE: maybe
By rudy on 12/1/2010 3:00:28 PM , Rating: 2
I think that windows home server has a value problem. It is really awesome for advanced computer users but for the masses of average people it is another $500 that they do not understand that well. I think M$ should have integrated media center and WHS it makes sense that a media center would also do server work in it off time. It would bring more value to the program for me it just never made sense I would have to have 4 windows machines to live with just to get all the functionality I want.

Backup and file serving with WHS, WMC for HTPC and a laptop and desktop.

RE: maybe
By arazok on 12/1/2010 4:47:17 PM , Rating: 2
Bingo. I built a WHS box earlier in the year, and suffered with my XBOX for streaming as I just *knew* that Vail would integrate MC. After all, it was everyone’s #1 request. I planned to upgrade as soon as it was released. A box that plays anything, backups my PC’s, and has infinite storage capability with a simple to use interface? OK!

Then they released the beta, and MC was not there. Fail #1.

So I waited for popbox to come out, and it sucked (thank god I didn’t preorder). So I balked and bought a media center PC.

I still planned to upgrade to Vail, as I’d like to be on the 2008 platform (2003 seems picky and dated now). Now they yank DE. Fail #2

Why would I upgrade without this?

Microsoft has been trying to get a PC in every living room for at least 10 years, and with WHS they had it within their grasp, and they threw it away. No wonder why Apple is killing them in the consumer market.

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini

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