Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 30th Mar 2007 11:08 UTC, submitted by Dan Warne
Windows As momentum grows around its new Windows Home Server line, which is due for release towards the end of this year, Microsoft is looking to keep the love flowing with its hardware partners, software developers and end users alike. Joel Sider, Senior Program Manager for Windows Home Server, told APC that the company intends to release a software development kit for the platform early next month.
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Am I missing something?
by Laurence on Fri 30th Mar 2007 11:23 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

What exactly is the point of this version of Windows?

Microsoft fans have Window 2000/XP Pro and the more experienced techies have *nix.

I can't understand why anyone would want a server running an OS which wasn't powerful enough to serve.

This just sounds like another classic case of MS trying to plug a market with sub-standard software....

Edited 2007-03-30 11:24

Reply Score: 3

RE: Am I missing something?
by SReilly on Fri 30th Mar 2007 12:04 in reply to "Am I missing something?"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

I agree to an extent. I think that MS are trying to create (or feed?) a new market to better enable them to bolster they're core business, the rich client.

I have had customers ask about a home server solution (Luxembourg residence have way to much money) for file sharing. What I have done so far is set up an old or cheap box with whatever Linux distro fits, and just let them at it. The thing is, these solutions tend to run for years without hitch or downtime. It's just setting it up in the first place that creates issues.

If MS can pull of a good, easy to administer, easy to set up and secure(ish) system, they very well could entrench the idea that the PC really is Windows.

Not a bad move from a scared rich client company in a world that is becoming more and more web app based.

Just my 0.02

Reply Parent Score: 5

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I really like the general idea of what Microsoft is trying to achieve here. They are not just making a special version of Windows; they are also specifying the hardware platform for it. In other words, Home Server is not just software, it's hardware as well. Home Server is in fact not all that different an idea than Apple TV, it's just that Microsoft does it the other way around: Home Server serves the files, whereas with Apple, the apple TV receives files from other computers.

Now, I would love to be able to buy a simple server for home use, plug it in my network, and get going, without all the crap that usually comes with setting up a server. It should simply host all my files, which I can then access from whatever computer I want. The Apple TV does not fit this scenario.

The big question I have is if Microsoft will be able to pull this off. They have this annoying tendency of biting off more than they can chew, which results in products which in theory are really good and handy, but in practice always just do not do exactly what you want them to do.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Am I missing something?
by Laurence on Fri 30th Mar 2007 12:12 in reply to "RE: Am I missing something?"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

@ SReilly

I see what you are saying, but while a *nix server will run for years without a hitch, Microsoft will be pushing 'Home Server' users for a paid upgrade every 3 years, which I think is unacceptable given the very basic functionality this software offers.

I'm not anti-Windows, I just don't see how this system serves users at all. It just sounds like MS inventing a new cash-cow.

But then I guess if you are building a server and aren't bright enough to research into the best OS to serve you, then you probable deserve to get a little ripped off ;-)

Edited 2007-03-30 12:13

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Am I missing something?
by flanque on Fri 30th Mar 2007 13:30 in reply to "Am I missing something?"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

From what I hear from friends who are testing this out, it's actually rather intuitive and for such an early build, quite polished and well done.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Am I missing something?
by Bit_Rapist on Fri 30th Mar 2007 14:54 in reply to "Am I missing something?"
Bit_Rapist Member since:
2005-11-13

What exactly is the point of this version of Windows?

To allow more advanced serving functions to users who might not be technical enough to set them up with the existing offerings or for people who may not wish to spend the time setting up a traditional *nix/Windows server to fill these needs.

Microsoft fans have Window 2000/XP Pro and the more experienced techies have *nix.

Non of which are setup as Windows Home Server will be "out of the box"

I can't understand why anyone would want a server running an OS which wasn't powerful enough to serve.

I think for what the intended purpose will be, file backup, photo sharing and a media hub its going to be just fine.

Its the application stack that is going to make the difference with this product. If they get the app stack right I think they'll really have something, if they get it wrong of course then it will be a dud.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Am I missing something?
by BluenoseJake on Fri 30th Mar 2007 15:39 in reply to "Am I missing something?"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

"Microsoft fans have Window 2000/XP Pro and the more experienced techies have *nix. "

WTF? Lots of experienced techies use windows, but I find the most experienced ones use what is best for them, and keep those sorts of digs to themselves.

I myself use Windows as a fileserver at home, and use FreeBSD or Ubuntu as my desktop. I have been a tech for about 20 years now, so I doubt I would call myself inexperienced. I have/do maintained Windows, AIX, Netware, Linux servers and Mac OS classic, OS X, Windows and Linux desktops. When you make stupid statements like that, you sound very condesending and more than a bit ignorant.

Who says this isn't needed for the less than technically inclined? XP's networking can be quitre cranky at times, especially when talking to Win98/2k systems, and most Linux distro's Samba config can be quite daunting to a non-technical person. This could be the thing that those customers need, at least somebody is doing it.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Am I missing something?
by Laurence on Fri 30th Mar 2007 16:41 in reply to "RE: Am I missing something?"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

WTF? Lots of experienced techies use windows, but I find the most experienced ones use what is best for them, and keep those sorts of digs to themselves.


I think you've taken my comments a little personally. I'm by no means saying Windows is benief the an experienced techie - just that even techie minded users who don't have (or want) any experience of *nix can still cope with setting up a basic NT server.

Granted it was worded badly (english is far from my best subject) but it really wasn't a snub at Windows NT nor Windows administrators.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Am I missing something?
by MollyC on Fri 30th Mar 2007 17:12 in reply to "Am I missing something?"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

Yes, you are missing something. ;)

Check out these two articles, which give nice detailed info on Windows Home Server:
http://techgage.com/article/windows_home_server_preview/
http://www.winsupersite.com/reviews/whs_preview.asp

And here's the Windows Home Server blog:
http://blogs.technet.com/homeserver/default.aspx

Here's my own summary (but read the above articles for detail): Windows Home Server is an attempt to bring server functionality to the masses. It runs on a "headless" server box (no monitor or keyboard), and provides a server for a home network. Includes media sharing, automatic backups, etc. One thing I like about it (I haven't actually used it), is that it pools all attached harddrives into one share, so you can increase the storage capacity automatically simply by adding an internal or external harddrive. And you can set it so that there is redundancy among the harddrives, so that each piece of data exists on at least two of the harddrives. No need to deal with RAID; simply add a harddrive and your done.

But I'm not eloquent enough to do it justice, so don't rip my summary to shreds to dismiss the product. Read the articles (and take those apart, if you must). ;)

But, this is not "sub-standard" software by any means.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Am I missing something?
by thecwin on Sat 31st Mar 2007 18:06 in reply to "Am I missing something?"
thecwin Member since:
2006-01-04

This has a huge amount of potential. I hope Microsoft don't lay this potential to waste like they did with the Zune.

I can't wait for things like this to become integrated with every day life, maybe we'll start with like.. "media routers" (preferably *nix based though ;) ).

Edited 2007-03-31 18:09

Reply Parent Score: 1