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Microsoft moves one step closer to the RTM for Windows Home Server

Microsoft's Windows Home Server is progressing nicely and has achieved 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 the software.

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 Internet connection.

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:

More 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.

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RE: I expect...
By walk2k on 6/13/2007 12:31:46 PM , Rating: 2
How is this any different than file sharing? Or WMP11 media server sharing?

I mean, XP/Vista already has "special folders" called "Music" and "Photos" and sharing them on a home network is as simple as right click -> Share this folder...

Maybe I'm missing something, but I see absolutely no use for this.

RE: I expect...
By deeznuts on 6/13/2007 1:30:32 PM , Rating: 2
You're missing a lot. Not just something. Why not read the article?

RE: I expect...
By cochy on 6/13/2007 1:30:49 PM , Rating: 2
What this article didn't mention is that Windows Home Server can also be used as a pretty advanced backup tool for home networks. Also they way the volume management is taken care of makes it very easy to add more storage to your shared volumes. It's not so easy to do that on Windows.

All in all I'll stick with Solaris and ZFS for my storage/sharing need =)

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