At long last, you can go order the eagerly awaited HP MediaSmart Server, running Microsoft's lovable Windows Home Server software. It's up at Amazon, Best Buy, CompUSA, and Circuit City, though Amazon is the only one offering any kind of discount from the $750 (1TB) or $600 (500GB) list prices. We'll give you more on the MediaSmart server when we get a unit, and see how it differs from the Norco DS-520 system-builder setup Chen reviewed last week. In the meantime, here are the other big news items:
• Iomega will launch HomeCenter Server in the first quarter of next year. The system will run on an AMD Sempron 1.8 Ghz processor and include on 500GB drive plus three extra SATA II bays (four total) for a "easy swapping" and expansion up to 3TB (750GB x 4). The HomeCenter will have a gigabit Ethernet port, but there's no price tag on that yet.
• In Europe three OEMs plan to roll out certified Windows Home Server products this year: the Fujitsu Siemens Computers SCALEO Home Server 1900, the MAXDATA Belinea o.center and Medion Home Server with up to 2TB of storage.
• Some other Windows Home Servers that might soon turn up on your radar include Life|ware, Tranquil, Leo and Velocity Micro (which looks a lot like the Fujitsu Siemens).
Windows Home Server Available Now to Help Families Protect, Connect and Share Their Digital Experiences
The HP MediaSmart Server is now available for pre-order and will be shipped to customers this month; new hardware and software partners announce Windows Home Server products and solutions.
REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 5, 2007 — Windows Home Server, a new solution to help families easily protect, connect and share their digital media and documents, is generally available today. The HP MediaSmart Server, powered by Windows Home Server software, is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com, Best Buy.com, Buy.com, Circuit City.com and CompUSA.com. It will be shipped to customers and available via other leading retailer Web sites later in November. Additional Microsoft hardware and software partners are also delivering new consumer products and solutions designed to work with Windows Home Server.
"Digital devices and content are everywhere in our day-to-day lives and they are more important all the time," said Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft. "With the launch of Windows Home Server, Microsoft and its partners are creating a new consumer product category that will help people keep their digital media safe and make it easier for them to enjoy it with friends and family."
Windows Home Server is a "stay-at-home" server that delivers the benefits of powerful server technology used by many people at work within a simple, easy-to-use solution for the home. It automatically backs up Windows XP-based and Windows Vista-based home computers each night, provides a central place to organize digital documents and media, and includes a free Windows Live Internet address to access the home server from virtually anywhere and share content with friends and family. It also monitors the health and security status of home computers and can stream media to other devices in the home, such as Xbox 360, allowing people to enjoy digital music, photos and videos on their television.
The HP MediaSmart Server, powered by the AMD LIVE! solution, was designed for the Windows Home Server platform. It provides consumers with easy, more secure access to all their movies, photos, music and documents through any broadband Internet-connected PC. The product also includes HP Photo Webshare software for consumers to easily and more securely share photos with select friends and family. The MediaSmart Server is offered in a 500GB version for $599 (U.S.) and a 1TB model for $749 (U.S.).*
"As more and more entertainment content goes digital, people increasingly want a simple way to access, store and enjoy the wide range of photos, personal videos, music and films they enjoy at home. HP and Microsoft have worked closely to bring to market a powerful, breakthrough solution for today's digital lifestyle that lets people personalize the how, when and where of entertainment," said John Orcutt, senior vice president of the Managed Home Business at HP.
Other leading manufacturers are also releasing Windows Home Server products:
· Available in Europe in late 2007, the Fujitsu Siemens Computers SCALEO Home Server 1900 offers 1TB capacity across two hard drives, Gigabit Ethernet and advanced power management features.
· Iomega Corp. today unveiled new details about its home server product due in early 2008, the Iomega HomeCenter Server, which will ship with one 500GB hard drive and four "easy-swap" drive bays for storage expansion.
· Available in early 2008, the Life|ware Life|storage will offer enterprise-class capabilities to consumers, including Life|ware Entertainment and Automation Server software for home management.
· The MAXDATA Belinea o.center, which will also be available in Europe soon, is energy-efficient, offers advanced management and media functions, and allows up to four hot plug SATA hard drives.
· Also available in Europe later this year, the Medion Home Server comes with up to 2 TB of storage capacity and will offer universal plug-and-play media streaming based on PacketVideo PVConnect software.
· Available now, the Tranquil PC T7-HSA Tranquil Harmony Home Server is a small, quiet and energy-efficient solution with 500GB and 1TB options.
· On sale today, the Velocity Micro NetMagix HomeServer is a small, sleek unit that can be situated in a horizontal or vertical position, starting with 1 TB of expandable storage capacity.
In addition, companies including Ace Computers, Advantec, PC Club and Universal Systems Inc. are now offering Windows Home Server systems based on the system builder version of the software. Other leading manufacturers, such as Gateway Inc. and LaCie, have announced plans for Windows Home Server products. Also, Seagate Technology announced the compatibility of its PC hard drives and external storage devices with Windows Home Server. Intel Corporation will soon be announcing a new, ideal platform for Windows Home Server, as well.
Windows Home Server Software Solutions for the Digital Home
Third-party software developers have created more than 35 innovative add-in programs to run on the Windows Home Server platform. These solutions provide personal blogging and media sharing, home security, home automation, protection against viruses and malware, and more. Several software vendors today announced support for Windows Home Server:
· Avira GmbH in Germany today announced that its malware detection and removal technology will support Windows Home Server.
· Diskeeper Corporation today released a special edition of its Diskeeper 2008 defragmentation software for Windows Home Server.
· Embedded Automation Inc. released the mControl add-in for Windows Home Server, providing home automation functionality.
· Proxure Inc. announced the release of KeepVault for Windows Home Server, providing automatic, online backup and storage of data.
· SageTV LLC released SageTV Media Server for Windows Home Server, enabling media streaming from Windows Home Server to any PC or Macintosh, at home or over the Internet.
· SightSpeed Inc. announced SightSpeed 6.0 video chat service compatibility with Windows Home Server.
· Telligent Systems Graffiti CMS is compatible with Windows Home Server, enabling users to quickly create personal Web sites and blogs.
· WiLife Inc. announced the release of Command Center Software version 2.1 home security software for Windows Home Server.
Additional third-party software and service solutions for Windows Home Server include avast! and F-Secure anti-virus and security software, CEIVA digital photo frames, Iron Mountain and Jungle Disk off-site data protection services, Lagotek Home Intelligence Platform for home automation, LobsterTunes for streaming to Windows Mobile-based devices, PacketVideo PVConnect for universal plug-and-play media streaming, Raxco Software PerfectDisk for performance optimization, Riptopia CD loading service, Sonos System Software 2.5 for centralized storage and organisation of digital jukeboxes, and Whiist for easy creation of Web pages and photo albums on Windows Home Server.
More information about Windows Home Server is available at http://www.microsoft.com/windowshomeserver.