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Home Server Update Announced; HP Delays Hardware Release

Microsoft announced that a significant update to the Windows Home Server operating system is currently being prepped for delivery via Windows Update before the end of the month. Even though Home Server hasn’t been sold to any users yet, Microsoft was able to identify a number of improvements to the usability and user experience of Home Server that it can ship quickly, so new Home Servers and installed servers will be gifted with these improvements.

We’ve identified a number of ways to make the product even better since the initial release. As with most Microsoft products, updates to Windows Home Server will be automatically available throughout the lifecycle of the product and the WHS team is working on an update that will be available in September. These updates will enhance the usability and improve the out-of-the-box experience of home server solutions.

PC World quotes Microsoft, which says:

Microsoft says the updates include fine tuning of the out-of-box experience with added prompts and dialog boxes guiding consumers through the setup process. Other enhancements include more reliable remote server access, automatic router and firewall setting tools, and enhancements to synchronizing features.

HP, a company that seems to always have all sorts of problems, has announced that it will delay its MediaSmart Home Server by an extreme amount in order to deploy the update. This is almost certainly an excuse the company is making due to some sort of screw-up on its part, masking problems with its hardware by blaming Microsoft’s update, deciding to delay hardware due to a simple software update for three to five months.

If I were Microsoft, I would be extremely angry at HP right now. Microsoft’s promotion for Home Server the last half year could have been called a big commercial for HP, which was its flagship hardware partner. HP’s awful delay decision is going to severely hurt Home Server and make it harder to succeed. Luckily, it will hurt HP even more.

There is a decent community of people who have been eagerly awaiting Home Server, and they won’t wait for January to get an HP. These people are going to buy Medion, MaxData, Chili Green, or they’ll just build one themselves. HP isclaiming the delay will be 75-120 days, which could make the holiday season (87 days away) but they are just as likely to miss it, based on this performance. Christmas is 112 days away, and a few days before that is a miss as well.

Next time around, pick someone more reliable than HP, like Asus.

Current estimated Home Server hardware delivery dates:

Manufacture Release Date
Medion October 2007
MaxData October 2007
Chili Green October 2007
Fujitsu Siemens November 2007
Lacie November 2007
Leo November 2007
HP January 2008

September 4th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Home Server, Server, Windows, General | no comments

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