I can finally let go the part-time IT administrator at the house (that would be me): Bill Gates is showing off the new Windows Home Server. CNET has coverage today of "a consumer device to serve as a central storage place for digital photos, music and other media. The first products are due out later this year from Hewlett-Packard and others. The goal is to get devices that can cost less than $500."

CNET has an interview with Bill and asks why people will want (or need) to have a server in their home (or even a small business). One challenge has been that the technology, maintenance and upkeep of a server were beyond the abilities of regular consumers, and CNET digs right into that question:

Click for galleryQ: One of the things you are talking about at CES is a new home server? Why does the average home need a server?

Gates: If you have got multiple PCs, then you want files that are available all the time no matter which PCs are turned on or off, and you'd also like to have a server that when you just add just add storage it automatically takes advantage of that. You don't have to think about drive names or moving files around.

In fact you get redundancy so that even if you have physical failures you have recoverability.

Does that mean that every home is going to need a server administrator?
Gates: No it's important to look hard at what the focus of that device has been, which is the easy setup and no ongoing need to worry about it at all. Remote access has been hard to set up. We've focused in on that. Making it so that it is all recoverable has been hard. Adding storage has been hard. We feel great about what we've done in this product. We think it is a real leadership product. Homes with multiple PCs will find it very attractive.