Windows Home Server Team has lifted the cone of silence and the biggest secret around campus was announced in the BillG keynote at CES. But is Windows Home Server (formerly "Q") the must-have data management system families need to connect and manage the multiple devices popping up in every room?  Definitely; the need is obvious.  But is the home consumer really ready for this?

Early marketing is squarely aimed at, shall we say... the tech hesitant?  The video on Channel 9  sure makes it look like anyone who can wield a mouse could operate this slightly dummied-down, beefed-up version of Win Server 2003 SP2. And CJ Saretto from the Windows Home Server team does a credible job in his interview with Channel 10  of avoiding technical jargon and big words. He sounds like he's talking to his grandmother.  And the clever Bill Gates ad is one you won't TiVo.  If Microsoft can continue positioning WHS this way the next Microsoft slogan might just be, "a computer in every closet."

No surprise that WHS integrates with Windows XP and Windows Vista, but did you know it can also be used with Time Machine, an upcoming feature in Mac OS X Leopard. "We're a great back-end store for Time Machine," Microsoft product manager Todd Headrick says.

For more details check out Ars Technica's article Windows Home Server: details and features by Ken Fisher, the review on endgadget, or Wikipedia's coverage.

HP MediaSmart Server for Windows Home Server - Twango

Hardware

One of the first devices to offer WHS is the HP MediaSmart Server, scheduled for retail availability in fall 2007.  Built with an AMD 1.8 GHZ 64-bit Sempron processor and expansion capacity up to 6 terabytes(!) of storage, why would anyone want to trust their stuff on public servers? 

Other cool features? How 'bout an internal universal power supply will keep the closet tidy, and for cool styling, LED light pipes for each hard drive bay glow blue when the drive is mounted, purple when the drive is unmounted and red when the drive has failed. 

How did they ever keep this story secret?