Uh, yeah. So I did read the press release. Maybe I missed something but it does appear to require Vista and it does not appear to support anyone else's system (MacOSX, Linux, etc.) So if you *like* the bundled mess that is the Microsoft product line, and your OS is running in the future (the same future that will run this server), then this product *might* be for you. If your hardware is old and your OS is older than the future, or from a non-Microsoft OS vendor, then you appear to be out of luck. Unless you wish to upgrade every thing you own. Then by all means.
So here is what you do... go down to Best Buy. Tell them you want a network storage device and a print server, all in one. Tell them you want a redundant disk. They probably have several brands. If you have another reasonably good electronics store in town, they probably have another one or two brands to choose from. Buy one today, and it will continue to work with everything you have today. Just don't upgrade to Microsoft's Digital Decade OS of the Future. That one will almost *certainly* not work with anything else you already have in your house.
Bill sucks. Microsoft has no clue. This "Digital Decade" (how catchy!) we are in happens to run on the *internets*. They are a series of *tubes*. They are *independent* of your specific operating system. Especially if they are of the future of which Microsoft wishes to bind you to.
And that's saying something. A part of Bill Gates' so called "Digital Decade" is to someday release a "Windows Home Server" for "less than $500"...
If you have multiple PCs, then you want files that are available all the time no matter which PCs are turned on or off, and you'd also like to have a server that, when you just add storage, it automatically takes advantage of that. You don't have to think about drive names or moving files around.Guess what, Bill? You need to get out more, even if it is just down to the local Best Buy store.
In fact, you get redundancy, so even if you have physical failures you have recoverability... We think it is a real leadership product. Homes with multiple PCs will find it very attractive.
For some time now I have had a network storage "server" running at home. It plugs into the network and just works. You can add as much storage as you want as larger disks become cheaper.
I plugged another USB drive into one of its USB slots. The box knew by default to use this drive as redundant storage. We use the network drive for common storage (across Windows 2000, Windows XP, Linux, and MacOSX) as well as for backup storage for each of those other machines. The USB drive backs up the common storage and backs up the backups.
Did I mention this "home server" also has a network print server? Yes, just plug in a printer's USB cable to another of the server's USB slots. I hope Bill's print server is as easy to setup (for MacOSX and Linux as well as all the Windows) whenever it arrives in Best Buy.
This setup came in many months ago at less than half the $500 target of Bill's. OK, I had a USB drive anyway I could use as the redundant storage. So purchasing that brings the sum into Bill's neighborhood *today*.
Will Bill's system work as well across all these other systems? Will it even work with Bill's own obsolete Windows 2000?
One more thing... this server of mine happens to run Linux and Samba (I know that because I am a geek and a dork, but no one needs to know that.)
Well, people with these servers may eventually find out once they bring Vista into their homes and Vista refuses (apparently?) to work with the Samba software. One more reason Vista will never see the inside of my house.
One more quote, but from Microsoft Watch...
The product will open up new sales and services opportunities for the channel. Many consumers can't properly configure a Wi-Fi router now. It's unrealistic that many could set up a server without some assistance.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeroconf?