Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 8th Jan 2007 23:34 UTC
Windows As part of his keynote address on Sunday at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, Gates showed off Windows Home Server (more info at Ars) - a consumer device to serve as a central storage place for digital photos, music and other media. The first products are due out later this year from HP and others. The goal is to get devices that can cost less than USD 500. In the first of a two-part interview, Microsoft's chairman talks about why the average person wants a server, why they won't need a degree in computer science to run it and what hurdles remain before consumers reach the true digital home.
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It's a good idea...
by archiesteel on Tue 9th Jan 2007 00:09 UTC
archiesteel
Member since:
2005-07-02

...but as I said in the previous thread on this, I think MS will have its competition cut out for it. Linksys and other hardware manufacturers could offer the same solution at a lower price using FOSS OSes (whether it's Linux, one of the BSDs or OpenSolaris). After all, you just need a fast HD (for video streaming), Ethernet/WiFi connectivity, and a nice Web interface for setup and maintenance.

Reply Score: 5

RE: It's a good idea...
by jayson.knight on Tue 9th Jan 2007 02:39 in reply to "It's a good idea..."
jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

But you forget one VERY important factor in all of that: Windows has very strong brand recognition, especially when it will no doubt integrate much better (and easier) into existing Windows home networks. That alone will sell almost everyone on it, including someone like myself who would actually prefer a NAS based solution. But if it plays better with my Windows machines, why not?

I see this space heating up quite a bit. A good indication of this is look how popular consumer level NAS solutions are now...even just a year or so ago no one outside of a server room had ever even heard of NAS, now my grandma even knows what that means.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: It's a good idea...
by archiesteel on Tue 9th Jan 2007 03:33 in reply to "RE: It's a good idea..."
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

But you forget one VERY important factor in all of that: Windows has very strong brand recognition, especially when it will no doubt integrate much better (and easier) into existing Windows home networks. That alone will sell almost everyone on it, including someone like myself who would actually prefer a NAS based solution. But if it plays better with my Windows machines, why not?

Yes and no. Windows' name recognition won't necessarily translate into more sales, because it's not really a popular brand other than by the fact that it's installed on any PC out there. The only MS brands to do well in a *competitive* market are Xbox and Hotmail/MSN (but that's not really a consumer product).

As for making it work better with Windows than competitive product, this would mean that MS would take advantage of certain hidden protocols or APIs, which would open it wide to another anti-trust lawsuit. There's no reason why a Linux/BSD device with Samba couldn't do just as good a job (for cheaper in license fees). If there's one thing Unix-like systems are, it's storing data and serving it over a network, and that's exactly what this box would do.

As I said, I don't think it's a bad idea, and if MS can start the ball rolling I think it's another great opportunity for others to jump in with FOSS-based devices.

A good indication of this is look how popular consumer level NAS solutions are now...even just a year or so ago no one outside of a server room had ever even heard of NAS, now my grandma even knows what that means.

Maybe your grandma is thinking of something else. From the NAS disambiguation page on WP... ;-)

# Network access server, also known as a terminal server
# Network Application Support
# Network-attached storage
# Network Audio System

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: It's a good idea...
by Karitku on Tue 9th Jan 2007 07:15 in reply to "It's a good idea..."
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

True, there has been lot of similiar smaller scale systems. Mostly they been network devices with HDD inside. But fact is that those lack several things that Home Server will have, mainly backup. Also i have tested few and found them hard to use and very buggy. It seems that many manufacturer takes FOSS solutions, throw them in to box and call it final product. Instead they should take time to develop and test systems

Reply Parent Score: 1