If you’ve followed We Got Served, or the home server scene over the last five years you’ll know that Microsoft have spent a lot of time, effort (and probably not enough money) bringing products like Windows Home Server to market.
Windows Home Server, much loved by geeks, tech enthusiasts and other ne’er do wells is a capable solution for the connected home – centralised file sharing, media streaming, first class computer backup and easy remote access to boot. But the product has failed to win mass adoption – the kind of adoption the original product (and product team’s) ambition deserved.
Why? Well, there’s the expense of buying dedicated hardware, perceived complexity of hooking it all up to your network, and – cripes – someone in Marketing called it a Server. Windows Home Server, and its successor, Windows Home Server 2011 were brave and partially successful attempts to both simplify and enhance management of the digital home. But the future is here already.
There has been a reasonable level of debate around these parts as to the future of Windows Home Server. Will there be a WHS 2012, 2013 or 2014? Here’s the thing: even if there is, maybe it’s not really required. Because we have Windows 8 – Microsoft’s latest version (or in their words, re-imagination) of the Windows client operating system.
Yes, a client. Not a server.
No doubt you’ll have heard of it, and many of you may have already tried it out. Millions of words have already been written about Windows 8 and tablets, Windows 8 and smartphones, Windows 8 and touchscreens. I’m not going to talk about any of that. Journalists, commentators and industry pundits are already arguing about the merits of Microsoft’s new “Metro” user experience. That’s not the focus of this series, either (but we do have a point of view on that).
In this series, Building a Windows 8 Home Server, we’ll dig into the lesser-known corners of the new Windows 8 operating system to uncover a wonderful secret. That the future of Microsoft’s home server push is alive and well and about to land on millions of desktops and devices later this year.
Don’t get hung up on the name. You don’t need Microsoft’s Marketing department to come up with a product branded Windows 8 Home Server to build a Windows 8 home server. You just need a few hints and tips from us, a copy of the Windows 8 operating system, a few recommended apps and some time. Oh and if, like me, you see the launch of Windows 8 as the chance to buy some new hardware, that’s okay too – though not strictly necessary! We’ll walk through the basics, and stretch into a few more advanced ninja moves – but it’s always step by step throughout.
I’m delighted to be your guide to Microsoft’s latest release of Windows, and whilst we’ll take a slightly different path than most through the ins and outs, ups and downs of the OS, I promise it’ll be a great adventure. How will a Windows 8 client stack up against Windows Home Server v1 and WHS 2011 as the hub of your connected home?
Let’s find out!