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Fun With Windows Home Server

Windows Home Server news got announced today at Microsoft's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) in Los Angeles. WHS is the little product that's supposed to give home users centralized data storage and network security and enable remote access. That's all well and good, and similar to Windows Small Business Server. What will make or break WHS is the emergence of the killer app -- in this case, some kind of home-entertainment coolness that makes the neighbors weep with jealousy.

On that front, Bill Gates spoke at WinHEC about six ISVs that are currently developing solutions to make WHS look cool. Personally, I liked the sound of Embedded Automation Inc.'s mControl software. The company's solution helps manage home lighting, security cameras, climate control and audio and visual components. Lagotek Corp. is another home automation vendor working to support WHS with its Home Intelligence Platform. Then there's PacketVideo Corp.'s PacketVideo Connect, which supports streaming media from WHS to home entertainment devices. Another company pushing entertainment content from WHS to home devices -- and to remote devices -- is SageTV. HP is also working on enhancing the Windows Home Server console and on sharing photos and media on the Web. Finally, a company called Riptopia -- you've got to love that name -- is developing a CD loading service that converts your CD collection for storage and protection on WHS.

Are these kinds of solutions representative of the killer apps that will get the neighbors excited about WHS? It's not clear right now, but these companies are moving in the right direction.

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 15, 2007 at 11:57 AM


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