Microsoft trying to ignite Windows home server market

It signs up two vendors, Via and Shuttle Computer, to build Windows Home Server systems

Microsoft Thursday said two smaller Taiwanese hardware makers will ship PCs preloaded with its year-old Windows Home Server operating system, joining PC market leader Hewlett-Packard and others.

At the International Consumer Electronics Show, Via Technologies and Shuttle Computer Group both plan to show off two models of home servers, which are meant to be easily managed central repositories for storing and backing up photos, movies and other files.

Known for its stylish, bookshelf-size PCs, Shuttle's two home servers, the SH-K4500 and the SH-K4800, are also compact, Intel Celeron 450-powered (single-core 2.2-GHz) systems with 1GB of RAM that can hold either two or three hard drives.

Via, meanwhile, will offer one mini-desktop PC (ARTiGO A2000) similar to Shuttle's that holds up to a pair of hard drives, and one mini-server rack (NSD-7800) that can hold up to eight hard drives for storage-hungry users. Both run Via's modest C7 processor along with 1GB of RAM.

By comparison, the HP MediaSmarts, including new Mac-friendly models introduced last week, use 2-GHz Celeron CPUs, offer 2GB of RAM and hold up to four hard drives.

Windows Home Server was released in the fall of 2007 after a major buildup by Microsoft.

A modified version of the business-oriented Windows Server 2003, WHS either comes preinstalled on specially built home server systems or can be bought for about US$150 and installed by users on any PC.

Reviewers such as Computerworld 's Preston Gralla say WHS is a "surprisingly powerful networking tool that offers some of the sophisticated networking capabilities you would expect from big-boy servers," while doing "a very good job of doing most of the things that home users need."

Such praise has yet to translate into a large ecosystem of WHS vendors.

Besides Shuttle, Via and HP, Fujitsu and a European vendor, Tranquil, are among a handful of larger PC makers building WHS machines today.

That pales in comparison to the massive number of hardware makers shipping Windows PCs.

Nor has it translated into huge sales of WHS, either. IDC predicted in a report last spring that only about 80,000 home servers, most of them WHS systems, would be shipped worldwide in 2008.

Home servers remain "a small market even now," said IDC analyst Richard Shim, one of the co-authors of the report, in a recent interview.

Shim sees strong long-term demand for home servers. His report predicts that 1.1 million systems will ship worldwide by 2012, mostly to consumers in developed countries. However, Shim said the economic downturn could hurt sales in the near term.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags windows home server

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Eric Lai

Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?