Microsoft guts next version of Windows Home Server

In spite of it’s techie sounding name Windows Home Server has been surprisingly popular backup solution with consumers who have home networks. It is simple to use, transparent and features a spectacular technoogy called Drive Extender. This allows you to simply add a hard drive of any brand or any size when your server is running out of space and WHS will simply add the new drive to the muss no fuss.

The next version of WHS codenamed Vail has been in public beta testing for about a year and today Microsoft made the following announcement in its Windows Blog. “When weighing up the future direction storage in the consumer and SMB market,
the team felt the Drive Extender technology was not meeting our customer needs.
Therefore, moving forward we have decided to remove the Drive Extender
technology from Windows Home Server Code Name “Vail” (and Windows Small Business
Server 2011 Essentials and Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials) which are
currently in beta.”

I don’t know what customers MS talked to but, I think this is a stupid decision that removes the one feature that made WHS stand out above the rest of the backup solutions available to consumers. Forcing consumers to start messing with RAID and the need to buy matched drives when expanding storage is not a way to simplify backup..and that was the stated objective when “Vail” went into public testing.

Why should I buy WHS when it will now be no better or worse than dozens of other solutions and is more expensive. I know the answer and it spells the death of Windows Home Server. Too bad, it is a product I use and like very much mainly because of the Drive Extender feature MS is now removing.

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2 Responses to Microsoft guts next version of Windows Home Server

  1. Ed says:

    This article is “right up my alley” since I was looking at the HP Media Server. I believe it uses WHS. The option of using any size HDrive in the system and adding more at will is a very attractive feature. It makes you wonder why MS would de-content their software.

  2. Steven Bely says:

    I could understand if it was called “Windows Business Server, but it was directed at the home user, the average user, I doubt very much that the average home consumer even begins to understand raid. It is an absolute stupid move. With drive extender and a pc running on an SSD, it would be an ideal solution.

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