Microsoft Releases Windows Home Server To OEMs

It's designed for running home network appliances that store, organize and share photos, music, videos and documents. Six hardware vendors have signed up to make products based on the software.
Microsoft on Monday said it released Windows Home Server to to hardware manufacturers. Windows Home Server is software for running home network appliances that store, organize and share photos, music, videos and documents.

Microsoft said hardware running Home Server will be available from Fujitsu Siemens Computers in Europe, and Iomega, a U.S. provider of storage and network security products. Fujitsu is developing a product called Scaleo Home Server, and Iomega is developing a user-expandable product for consumers with up to four hot-swappable drives.

Other OEMs working on Home Server-based products include Gateway, Hewlett-Packard, LaCie and Medion.

Charlie Kindel, general manager of Windows Home Server, said in his blog that the evaluation version, valid for 120 days, and the system builder version are also heading into the distribution channels. Those versions are expected to be available in the next couple of months.

French, German and Spanish versions of Home Server will be finalized shortly, and Microsoft expects OEM products to reach retail shelves this fall, in time for the holiday season, the biggest shopping time of the year. Kindel said Home Server version 1.0 was completed "on time and on budget."

Home Server is a pared down version of Windows Server 2003. The software is aimed at consumers looking to connect multiple PCs, gaming consoles, and other digital devices within the home. The product supports up to 10 Windows XP- or Windows Vista-based PCs.

As of the middle of last month, more than 100,000 users had signed up to beta test Windows Home Server, according to Microsoft.

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