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Windows Home Server Released to Manufacturing

Windows Home Server, Microsoft's first foray into what it hopes will be a lucrative market for consumer-oriented servers, has been released to manufacturing.

According to the WHS blog, the server was finalized Monday. Charlie Kindel, general manager for WHS, stated "I am extremely gratified that we have built a great V1 product on time and on budget." Whether WHS came in on budget is a matter known only to Microsoft, but it did meet the announced timeframe of the second half of 2007.

Kindel also announced that the OEM version of WHS is getting in the pipeline now, with availability "in the next couple of months," and retail release expected in the fall.

Three language-specific versions -- Spanish, German and French -- are also nearing completion.

Several more OEMs have jumped on board the WHS ship, Kindel revealed: Iomega and Fujitsu-Siemens Computers (FSC). That brings the total to a half-dozen OEM partners, including Gateway, HP, Lacie and Medion.

The WHS project, originally code-named "Quattro," began in February 2004, Kindel wrote. The product was announced to the world at large last January, and has been on a fast track since then. More than 100,000 beta testers were involved in the project, and they did their work well; in March, Microsoft said that 2,385 bugs had been reported.

Microsoft is positioning WHS as a server for home users looking for a central repository for data like photos and documents, that also provides easy backup and management of the multi-computer homes that are becoming the norm nowadays.

WHS is not a stand-alone product; the server comes pre-installed on hardware from the OEMs. Software vendors will also be supporting WHS; they include Diskeeper Corp., makers of defragmentation software, anti-virus and security vendor F-Secure Corp., and data protection services provider Iron Mountain. Pricing information has not yet been released.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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