Nearly two months after it debuted in other countries, Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Home Server (WHS) software is now selling in the U.S. at prices ranging from US$165 to $189. Ready-to-use servers running the new operating system, however, are still weeks away from release.
Web-based retailers such as Buy.com and Newegg.com are taking orders, and in some cases shipping, the system builder version. Newegg.com, for example, lists the OEM edition -- the only package that will be sold unbundled from hardware -- as in stock and priced at $189.99. Others, including Buy.com, list the OS for less, but are currently backordered.
The OEM edition has been awaited by users who beta-tested the operating system because it is the only way to upgrade their existing home-built servers. Even so, some aren't happy with the pricing. "You have got to be kidding," said a user identified as nykman on the Microsoft forum dedicated to the software.
"The price is way too high for OEM software," said redlineboss in a different thread. "I'm waiting for it to drop to $150."
WHS, which connects up to 10 Windows XP- or Vista-powered PCs for automatic backup, disk restore, file and printer sharing and remote Web-based access, first went on sale two months ago in Australia and New Zealand at prices between$149 and $199. The OEM edition has also been sold in the U.K. for several weeks.
Most users, however, will obtain the OS in custom-built systems from manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard Co., Fujitsu-Siemens Computers, Gateway Inc. and Iomega Corp. HP, the first to announce it would sell a server powered by WHS, pushed back the launch of its MediaSmart Server to later this year so it could incorporate a minor update of the software. Two weeks ago, Microsoft patched several bugs in WHS, and made changes at HP's request to smooth the server setup and management for first-time users.
This story, "Windows Home Server Now Available in U.S." was originally published by Computerworld.