So Microsoft have finally killed off Windows Home Server. In announcing the 2012 lineup of Windows Server Microsoft announced that there will be not be a next version of Windows Home Server and the current version (Windows Home Server 2011) will be available in sale channels until the end of 2013 and the embedded version will be available till 2025 (Now that is a long product lifespan!)
The features of WHS are bing rolled into Windows Server 2012 Essentials priced at $425 . The Windows Server 2012 editions will be Standard, Datacenter, Essentials, and foundation.
It’s hardy surprising news, its something we have discussed on the podcast for some time. Windows Home Server has had an interesting history, being launched to much fanfare in 2007 at CES (I was there) then by being hit with a data corruption bug, the removal of the drive extender technology in 2011 followed by HP pulling out of the market.
At one stage in the WHS Vail beta it looked like a feature rich version that could power the digital home was on the way but features were removed and by the time WHS 2011 shipped the server had lost many features and lots of excitement.
The sad thing about the demise of WHS is that I like many others have a Windows Home Server backing up computers and working great without any fuss.
Details from the Windows Server FAQ:
Q: Will there be a next version of Windows Home Server?
A: No. Windows Home Server has seen its greatest success in small office/home office (SOHO) environments and among the technology enthusiast community. For this reason, Microsoft is combining the features that were previously only found in Windows Home Server, such as support for DLNA-compliant devices and media streaming, into Windows Server 2012 Essentials and focusing our efforts into making Windows Server 2012
Essentials the ideal first server operating system for both small business and home use—offering an intuitive administration experience, elastic and resilient storage features with Storage Spaces, and robust data protection for the server and client computers.
Q: How long will customers be able to purchase Windows Home Server 2011?
A: Windows Home Server 2011 will remain available as an OEM embedded product until December 31, 2025, and will remain available in all other current channels until December 31, 2013.