A couple of weeks ago at CES, Charlie Kindel and team launched the newest version of Windows, Windows Home Server (WHS), a product aimed at making it easy for anyone, including mom, to setup an automated way to backup her PCs and to share pictures, movies and more. If you haven’t heard of Windows Home Server, go check out the Channel9 video where Rory interviews Charlie Kindel or read Paul Thurott’s Windows Home Server Preview, which has the following final thoughts:


“I'm excited about Windows Home Server in a way that I haven't been about technology since the first time I laid eyes on Windows Media Center ("Freestyle"), back in early 2002. Enthusiasts are going to eat this thing up, and once more typical consumers catch on, I suspect Windows Home Server is going to find a huge market indeed.”


In the video, you probably heard Charlie mention the WHS team has two types of customers (personas), the first being the wholly non-technical person, my mom if you will, the second one being “Sam” who is a hobbyist/enthusiast developer and is smart enough to know about technical features in Windows like remote desktop, firewalls, etc. “Sam” is, in essence, the Express customer as well so our non-pro team (specifically Doug Handler), has been working with the WHS team on enabling hobbyist developers to take advantage of WHS. That’s right, the Hobbyist Renaissance continues with a new operating system hobbyists can take to the next level.

 

Windows Home Server is a platform:

  • Built using the same technologies found in Windows Server 2003 SP2
  • Includes IIS 6.0 with Service Pack 1
  • Includes the .NET Framework 2.0
  • Includes Windows Media Connect
  • Can host/run almost any custom Windows Service
  • Extensible Management Interface for remote Management

Since it is a server, this means you can setup your own Web site “MyOwnSite.com” using services like Dynamic DNS, and host

Windows Home Server Management Add-ins
We’re also working with the WHS team to create Visual Studio Express Project Templates to create add-ins/snap-ins to the Home Server management interface for your own custom application, like a Home Automation management tool to be able to control your lights from anywhere.

Windows Home Server Beta 2
Per Charlie, here is what we can say about the plans for the WHS beta: “The dev team is wrapping up its Beta 2 milestone now. They should be done within the next month or so. The Beta will extend beyond Microsoft employees, but details are murky on how broadly it will be available.”

Hobbyist Developer Samples 
You can certainly expect us to add samples to Coding4Fun on using Home Server, but what would you be interested in? 

  • Home Automation
  • Web Cams
  • Web sites
  • Stereo controller
  • Telephony using TAPI

Finally, congratulations to the Windows Home Server team for a great launch! I can’t wait to set this up at home :)