Microsoft’s Windows Home Server has hit a major milestone today, it’s been released to Manufacturing. This means that OEMs can now start building final products around the operating system.
I’ve always been a little bit curious regarding this release, and have always had the feeling that it’s nothing more than a NAS box with advanced backup features (with an “easy enough for Mom” UI). While that’s no small feat, I’ve been more that a bit disappointed with some very obvious omissions from the OS.
With more and more PCs being deployed in the home (a laptop or two, an “office pc,” and a computer for the kids, etc.) I’m surprised that Microsoft didn’t take this opportunity to add a home version of WSUS to get all applicable Windows Updates for the connected pcs and update from a local store rather than over the web. This would have increased local update speed as well as reduced load on Microsoft’s update servers.
Further, why not add the capability to plop in a couple HD-TV Tuner cards and have the Home Server be your TV, Radio, Music, and Photo server? Sure, you can map it so your Vista or XP Media Center can write to the file store on the Home Server, but then you have two servers (one for backups and filestore, and one for media).
Additionally, why not add a home Exchange server and partner up with Live.com (and others) to provide domain registration for your family name. So you could be email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org (etc.). This would also allow for a family contacts list, a family calendar, etc.
And while we’re at it, why not allow a family web server? File available via webdav or sftp, website via custom IIS or SharePoint.
Ah, the potential. May in v2?