Microsoft's Windows Home Server is progressing nicely and
Release Candidate stage. Microsoft states that the new build will be
available to over 100,000 beta testers along with people who wish to sign up now and test
For those not familiar with Windows
Home Server, it is a software application that can be installed on any PC
in a home network to allow other networked computers access to files. Users can
also have secure web access to files from anywhere in the world with a secure
There will also be hardware products branded as
"Powered by Windows Home Server" that simply plug into your home
router to provide access to files. Microsoft likes to tout that new internal or
external devices added to a Windows Home Server device won't be treated as F:,
G:, H:, etc. Instead, total available space will be increased by the size of
the hard drive added and divisions between physical hard drives will be
transparent to the user.
The first question to spring to many potential users mind is
how a Windows Home Server is different from a Network Attached Storage (NAS)
device. Microsoft responds with:
than just storage, Windows Home Server uniquely provides pre-defined shared
folders, such as "Music" or "Photos" making it easier to
organize and find your files. Windows Home Server also features simple storage
extensibility, and built-in search capabilities... Also, in a Windows Home
Server device with two or more hard drives, you can elect to duplicate folders.
This prevents you from losing any photos, music, or other files stored in a
folder that has "duplication" enabled, if a hard drive fails.
Pricing for Windows Home Server devices will be set by OEMs
and will be available in the second half of 2007.
You can head over to the Paul Thurrott's Supersite for Windows to get an overview of Windows Home Server.
quote: There will also be hardware products branded as "Powered by Windows Home Server" that simply plug into your home
quote: If you don't want a hardware server solution from Microsoft, just build your own.
quote: I see it that way as well. However, for households that don't have people ready to build their own servers for central storage and data access, this will probably be pretty helpful.