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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Right now, yes it is...but that's because this market really doesn't exist yet, and isn't that the point of creating new "create" a new market for them?

Five years ago, the market for Media Center type OS's didn't exist, yet the market for them is huge now. Ten years ago people scoffed at the idea of having a gaming hub (ala XBox/PS, etc) doing anything more than just playing games, yet now they run full blown OS's and can be used as a full fledged media hub. Just a couple of years ago, homes with more than 1 PC were the exception, now they are the norm.

The reason most of us don't see this as a marketable product is because we are technically savvy enough to do what everyone else is saying a used PC, install whatever OS we want on it, configure it, etc. The rest of the world doesn't care about stuff like that...just give them a turnkey solution that plugs into an existing network and configures itself, et voila...instant market. My own father (who's as technical as a nun) has been asking me questions about something similar to this for a while now...he wants a setup where he can have all of his movies/music/photos/etc centrall stored, and can be accessed throughout the house from a variety of devices (other PCs, TV's, A/V equipment, etc) without needing to trudge around loading up discs, fiddling with equipment, etc.

The market is definitely there, folks have been wanting something like this for a while, but are simply unaware of the terminology behind it like "server" or "OS" or whatever...they want their data in a central location, and to be accessible from anywhere at any time w/o having to worry about the intricacies of how to go about doing it.

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