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HP's MediaSmart Home Server  (Source: Hewlet-Packard)

Iomega HomeCenter Server  (Source: Iomega)
Microsoft's Windows Home Server hardware products are finally ready for prime time

It's been nearly a year since Microsoft first announced its Windows Home Server platform, but we are now just starting to see the fruits of Microsoft's (and its hardware partners') labors.

Microsoft is aiming to make digital media sharing, automated network PC backups and anywhere access to network files a possibility with Windows Home Server. The platform, which is built in Windows Server 2003 technology, is robust, yet easy enough for consumers to jump right in and feel at home.

Likewise, third-party software companies have the ability to create plug-ins for power users that wish to use the Windows Home Server to the fullest extent. According to Microsoft, 35 plug-ins are already available for the platform which touches on blogging, home security and home automation among other things.

The actual Windows Home Server OEM software has been available for a little over a month now, but Microsoft and its launch partners are finally ready to break out the details on the hardware products.

HP's MediaSmart Server is the headliner product for Windows Home Server. As detailed in an earlier DailyTech story, the MediaSmart Home Server is available in two versions: the $599, 500GB EX470 and the $749, 1TB EX475. Both are based on the AMD LIVE! Home Media Server solution.

"We are excited to work with industry leaders HP and Microsoft to help pioneer a new class of user-friendly consumer electronics for home networking," said Bob Brewer, corporate VP of marketing and strategy for the AMD Computing Solutions Group. "The AMD LIVE! solution was designed to simplify and enhance digital entertainment experiences, and helping consumers protect their valuable digital memories is a vital aspect of that vision."

"As more and more entertainment content goes digital, people increasingly want a simple way to access, store and enjoy the wide range of photos, personal videos, music and films they enjoy at home," continued HP Managed Home Business senior VP John Orcutt.

HP, however, isn't the only company championing the Windows Home Server platform. Storage company Iomega is onboard with its 500GB Iomega HomeCenter Server which is scheduled to ship in early 2008. Fujitsu Siemens will offer its 1TB SCALEO Home Server 1900 in late 2007 and other solutions are on the way from Life|ware, MAXDATA, Medion, Tranquil and Velocity Micro.

"Digital devices and content are everywhere in our day-to-day lives and they are more important all the time," said Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates. "With the launch of Windows Home Server, Microsoft and its partners are creating a new consumer product category that will help people keep their digital media safe and make it easier for them to enjoy it with friends and family."

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By afkrotch on 11/6/2007 6:23:53 PM , Rating: 2
Buffalo throws in a backup/restore software for the NAS. You can setup your desktops to backup whatever to the NAS at specific times. You can integrate more drives via external USB. Or simply add more NAS to your network.

It allows you have internet access to your storage and that's the main purpose of a NAS. The storage. Any other remote access I need, I can just use VNC. Why would I want to go through a whole different system, to eventually get to my home machine? Not to mention VNC isn't locked down to XP Pro with SP2, XP Media Center 2005, XP Tablet with SP2, Vista Ultimate, Vista Business, or Vista Enterprise. Seeing as it's Windows Home Server, how many ppl aren't running Windows XP Home or Vista Home? I run Win2k Pro, WinXP Pro, and Vista Home Premium. That would leave 2 of my boxes unreachable.

Flexible. With the NAS, you can leave it un-RAIDed and simply copy the files to another hdd. Reading a little about Memeo (Buffalo's auto backup software), it'll allow you to do the same things as WHS for backup/mirror/etc, cept it allows you to backup to more than just your NAS, but to a variety of devices. Let's you backup files to external hdds, usb flash drives, ipods, networked computers, NAS, ftp servers, memeo internet disk, and other devices.

Dynamic. You can add usb external drives to the NAS. With the Terastation Live, you can easily add drives into the enclosure or plug in some usb external drives. Use the Memeo to set it to backup to the new drives or whatever. Leave it un-RAIDed and no problems.

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