Technology

A SysAdmin in Every Rec Room

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Is that the 21st century measure of the middle-class? Bill Gates and Microsoft evidently think so.

Gates and crew topped off an underwhelming performance at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, the Vegas saturnalia for geekdom, by pitching something called Windows Home Server. The idea is relatively simple and sorely needed: A way for digital-age families to manage all their digital media content, content which is almost surely spread across several devices and PCs.

Enter the Home Server. OK, how much does that cost? "Under $1000." Come again? A cool K, sans keyboard or monitor. Alright, so a big network drive for $1000.

Compare that to $225-250 for a 500GB add-on drive and $30 for some fairly robust, but still consumer-friendly network management software. Still might have to cobble together some back-up function to exactly match the Home Server's tool kit, but with at least $500 to play with, that should be no big issue.

Given this reality it sure seems like Gates and team need to rework their price-point. At under $500 the Home Server might have some value—provided it was butt-simple to drop into an existing network. But then Redmond would run the risk of seeing the Home Server deployed in small business situations, taking sales away from commercial-grade solutions.

Good thing Gates is retiring in 2008. Somebody else can figure this stuff out.

NEXT: PATRIOT Overreaches: Who Knew?

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  1. My home server is awsome! Bought a used HP ProLiant a while back and installed OpenBSD.

    Then I moved twice and it has not been plugged in since. Sits in my storage space downstairs, but it never crashes!

  2. As I approach my sunset years in the I.T./Programming/Networking/I.S. world, I mourn not. With the introduction of Vista, and Microsoft’s new role, not as a developer of software, but a gatekeeper of content, I’m ready to call it quits altogether.

  3. “Honey, I can’t get to any of our pictures. Have you rebooted the server and rejoined it to the Active Directory?”

  4. Gates retiring in 2008? Hmm, maybe he is thinking about running for Prez? I mean with as well loved as he is, and with his level of charisma why not?

  5. With the introduction of Vista, and Microsoft’s new role, not as a developer of software, but a gatekeeper of content, I’m ready to call it quits altogether.

    Yeah. Anybody who thinks MS gives a crap about the quality of what the end consumer gets to buy these days, has a great big surprise coming.

  6. Bought a used HP ProLiant a while back and installed OpenBSD.

    How many years of computer experience did it take for you to be able to do that?

  7. Frank,

    LOL, just seemed like years when I was reading up on it before fussing with it.

  8. Yeah, I’m sure Junior will be thrilled to store all his porn clips on the family server.

  9. At under $500 the Home Server might have some value — provided it was butt-simple to drop into an existing network.

    HA HA HA HA HA
    ROFLMFAO =:^D
    AHH HA HA HOOoooo

    thanks, I needed that

  10. I can see the ad campaign, starring ET: “ET P0wn Home”

  11. Warren: The one Apple comes out with in about 12 hours will be…. (Guessing and hoping.)

  12. It cost me less than $100 to build my home server. Hardware came from computers that the college kids in my apartment complex threw out upon graduating, as software I used Ubuntu 6.06. Now I have a very decent Web server and home file and print server. That was also the first time I tried Linux, and I found it easier to set up than the Windows 2003 server I’ve been struggling with at work.

  13. Isn’t the sort of thing Gates is advocating here exactly what the RIAA and MPAA have been suing people for? The RIAA wants us to believe that ripping a CD, even one you own, and for your own use, is wrong; I assume the MPAA takes the same position. Or is Gates pushing this because Vista has DRM built in and he expects to vut deals with the RIAA and MPAA?

    [geek] My home server runs Linux From Scratch. [/geek]

  14. Not to nit pick or anything but MS’s big news at CES was the IPTv, VOD, DVR capabilities for the XBox360. If you check Engadget, Gizmodo, Digg, Joystiq etc. that was a very big announcement.
    Also in regards to the home server announcement. Re-read what MS was proposing for the home server product – its a bit different that a USB or Gig-e capable drive attached to a router. It wasn’t really being pitched directly to the consumer market but more to middle-ware and developers.
    Many are expecting Apple to annouce a similar product today in the I-TV (or whatever they’re going to call it).
    You can find similar stuff for Ubuntu, Red Hat, etc.

  15. I should note that Apple’s iTV, combined with FrontRow (on, say a Mac Mini) would be similar.

    Microsoft’s new role, not as a developer of software, but a gatekeeper of content,
    Its kind of a shame that it has come to that really, but yeah them and Apple have to be for fear of being sued into oblivion.

  16. It will be $499 and easy as apple pie.

  17. Yeah, I’m sure Junior will be thrilled to store all his porn clips on the family server.

    Why should he, when he can watch Senior’s?

  18. I think I am too late to comment on this.Comparing it OK.

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