Good news for the Windows Home Server team, the fruits of their labour has finally shipped. They’ve been working on this product for the last 8 years and it will be interesting to see how the market will react to this new offering.
For those of you who are unaware of Windows Home Server, it’s essentially an operating system designed for a home appliance that will be the central repository for people’s data, photos and movies and store these securely for everyone at home. It has in-built resilience and backup capabilities designed to ensure that this data is never lost and also has the ability to extend itself over any number of storage devices you plug into it.
I’ve always been paranoid about things like our family photos and in fact use FolderShare to replicate them across multiple machines. This OS will make things much easier for me as I can rest assured that my data is safe. And it’s not just photos, my family use a number of applications, including Adobe Premiere and Dragon Naturally Speaking, that need their data backed up. There are quite a few news and blog sites that have posted more information about it here, here, here and here.
It seems like this OS won’t be readily available however; it will be supplied as part of a package with particular hardware vendors. There are a number of implications here. Microsoft could kill the product if they don’t expand the number of suppliers quickly; it also implies that people won’t be able to build their own rigs. Personally, I don’t think it will be long before it gets cracked wide open (or Microsoft change their mind), but it will be fun to keep an eye on it and see.