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
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
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
quote: WHS was epic fail from the start.