Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Microsoft, HP Unveil Windows Home Server

Microsoft's long-anticipated home server software will first appear on a Hewlett-Packard box sometime in the second half of 2007, the companies announced from the Consumer Electronics Show. But its success, an analyst said Monday, rests on how easy the home server is to use, not the length of its spec sheet.

"It's an intriguing idea," says Michael Cherry of Directions on Microsoft. "But its success won't be based as much on an analysis of the technical specifications [as on] how good of a job they do in packaging, and how easy it is to use."

On Sunday, Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman announced Windows Home Server during a presentation at CES, the massive trade show in Las Vegas this week. "This is for homes where you've got either multiple PCs or Xboxes, the case where you want to have your storage available at all times to the different devices," said Gates. "HP will brand it as the HP MediaSmart Server, and it's the Windows Home Server software with their enhancements that will run on top of that.

"We think it's a category that can explode in importance," Gates added.

HP's MediaSmart Server is to be powered by a 1.8-GHz 64-bit Sempron processor from Advanced Micro Devices, includes four hard drive bays and four USB ports for printer or external storage connections, and comes in a box about 10 inches high by 5.5 wide by 9 deep. HP didn't disclose a ship date and hasn't set the storage capacities of the one or two drives that will ship in the enclosure. If all four bays are packed with 750-GB drives and all four USB ports used to connect to similar-sized external drives, the total storage of the HP server tops out at 6 terabytes.

  • 1