Although Windows Vista was just launched it’s not everyday that Microsoft reveals new operating systems. So I was really exited to hear about Windows Home Server (WHS). Here’s the lowdown from Engadget:

  • Units are headless and embedded only — you cannot buy WHS and put it on an old PC — yikes 🙁
  • There is no common web interface. Interaction is entirely client software based, or done over SMB — make sure to turn off the “there’s no external monitor error beep in the bios”.
  • It cannot directly stream media to Media Center Extenders, but it can stream media directly to Windows Media Connect-enabled devices — Why?!
  • It does not use RAID, but instead uses a RAID-like drive pooling system with built-in redundancy. Expanding capacity is as simple as adding additional drives internally or externally via USB — Hmm, will have to wait and see..
  • The client software, which is installable only on Windows PCs (duh) monitors PC health, manages backups, and supports full disk images and versions. If your computer crashes hard you can pop in an restore CD and it’ll pull the disk image over the network – OK, great.
  • Your WHS device gets registered with your Windows Live account and is made easily-findable by authorized parties (i.e. you and anyone you designate) while on the go. You can even connect to it via Live and pipe a Remote Desktop connection to a PC on your home network through this Home-finding Live feature — cool and not so cool. Although I’m sure that Microsoft will go to every extent to make sure that this is secure and “hacker proof” this sounds like a prime target for hacking.

Needled to say, I’m going to try and install one as soon as I can get my hands on the software.