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Windows Home Server Has Launch Day

Windows Home Server, despite being finalized in late August/early September, got its official launch day on Monday, as Microsoft introduced the product and the first Home Server PCs to the marketplace. Here’s the press release, announcing the retail release of HP’s oft-delayed MediaSmart Server, which is available now for pre-order and should hit stores within weeks, as well as these systems:

  • 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, 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.

Engadget has pictures of Medion and Iomega’s Home Servers (and some others), and they look really slick. I’m looking forward to seeing these things in person, and how good the reviews are. The Home Server blog points out that the HP MediaSmart Server is topping Amazon, with the 500 gigabyte version, selling for $570 (thirty dollars off), running as #1 in Computers and PC Hardware, and the 1 terabyte version, selling for $710 (forty dollars off), running #2 in the category.


November 6th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Home Server, Server, Windows | no comments

Microsoft’s JPEG XR Approved As New Image Standard


Joint Photographic Experts Group, which owns the JPEG standard, has voted to make Microsoft’s HD Photo their new standard, under the name JPEG XR. Once the process is done (it takes about a year), JPEG XR will be the new version of JPEG, with newer software and operating systems, plus top cameras (and, if we’re lucky, all cameras) supporting the format. Adobe likes the format, and cameras supporting it are supposed to hit in the middle of next year.

Why should you like JPEG XR? Because right now, most cameras offer either RAW or JPEG. RAW changes from camera manufacturer to manufacturer, so you can’t just share the files, and JPEG is an aging standard that doesn’t have the greatest quality in the world (though it still looks damn good at high quality levels). JPEG XR will bring JPEG closer to the level of RAW, but should still work with all computers and software, making it more shareable and widely supported, while looking a whole lot better.

Microsoft may have invented the standard, but it isn’t controlling it. The standard belongs to the world. They just hope you remember, if you fall in love with the new standard, that they did something really good for the photography world here. Give ‘em some credit, kay?

Previous posts:
Microsoft Taking On JPEG; About Damn Time! - May 25, 2006
Microsoft To Make HD Photo A Standard - March 16, 2007
HD Photo Becomes JPEG XR - August 8
HD Photo Plugin For Photoshop Released For Mac OS - August 23
Microsoft Pro Photo Downloads - Get Em! - August 27

November 6th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General | one comment