Some of the people that managed to stay awake while listening to Bill Gates CES Keynote speech heard him unveiling Microsoft plans for Windows Home Server. I've been digging into this product, which many people referred to as "Quattro" and more recently as "Q", because to me it means one thing: Active Directory benefits at home!
What is does
Microsoft Windows Server Home basically is the best of both worlds. It is based on Windows Server 2003 R2 on one side, which brings Active Directory (Rights Management) Services and based on Windows Vista on the other hand, which brings the media (extender) functionality.
Microsoft Windows Server Home is build to be consumer friendly. It functions as your central storage place for digital photos, music and other media, makes automatic backups of your precious data, connects your xboxes and Zunes to your network, makes your network perform well, and perhaps the Windows Server Home team might find a way to let it make coffee in the morning, call the pizza delivery guys in the evening and interconnect with your refrigerator to make sure you have enough Cola to last a whole night… (Beta 2 will probably arrive in 2 weeks time, so this is the time to get in those much anticipated features to make it ideal for home use! 😉 )
… Without a monitor
Microsoft Windows Server Home is a box, without a keyboard, mouse or monitor. I guess this is the way many tech-savvy people use their Small Business Server at home at this moment, stuffed in some closet. When it looks like this however I think many will reconsider putting "the serverbox" where the sun doesn't shine.
… Without an administrator
The Unique Buying Point (UBP) for Windows Server Home might be the fact that it doesn't need administering. Not even in a daily fashion like Small Business Server, which still likes to cuddle every now and then.
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The information on this webpage applies to software from Microsoft that was in testing phase but utilizable by experienced users by the time the webpage was written. This software has not been released for sale, distribution or usage for the general public. The information on this webpage and the beta software are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.