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The future of WHS 2011 doesn't look that bright...


SolidSonicTH
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Not trying to doomsay or anything but right now the impression I get from Microsoft is that their interest in this OS is very tenuous at best. They pushed it out into a final build to say it was done but no talk of distribution plans aside from letting TechNet subscribers play with it seems to have ever taken form ("mid-May" was supposed to be the targeted release window but that seems to have come and gone).

 

Their gameplan has to extend past enthusiast techies messing around with this, right? I mean, the whole point of this OS is to attract casual users who have like five computers in their house to centralize and manage their data and media while also offering them an opportunity to remotely use their media and access their home network. But at the rate they're going, that seems to be a pipe dream.

 

Plus wasn't there talk of an app store or something too? Lot of big plans but all of it seems to be trapped in this haze of uncertainty.

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Not trying to doomsay or anything but right now the impression I get from Microsoft is that their interest in this OS is very tenuous at best. They pushed it out into a final build to say it was done but no talk of distribution plans aside from letting TechNet subscribers play with it seems to have ever taken form ("mid-May" was supposed to be the targeted release window but that seems to have come and gone).

 

Their gameplan has to extend past enthusiast techies messing around with this, right? I mean, the whole point of this OS is to attract casual users who have like five computers in their house to centralize and manage their data and media while also offering them an opportunity to remotely use their media and access their home network. But at the rate they're going, that seems to be a pipe dream.

 

Plus wasn't there talk of an app store or something too? Lot of big plans but all of it seems to be trapped in this haze of uncertainty.

 

 

Granted their marketing is not always good but their strategy is mostly withe OEMs not the user. If the OEM channel gets going and MS helps them market it, it has a chance. If it is left only to OEM's it will be a long road.

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Not trying to doomsay or anything but right now the impression I get from Microsoft is that their interest in this OS is very tenuous at best. They pushed it out into a final build to say it was done but no talk of distribution plans aside from letting TechNet subscribers play with it seems to have ever taken form ("mid-May" was supposed to be the targeted release window but that seems to have come and gone).

 

Their gameplan has to extend past enthusiast techies messing around with this, right? I mean, the whole point of this OS is to attract casual users who have like five computers in their house to centralize and manage their data and media while also offering them an opportunity to remotely use their media and access their home network. But at the rate they're going, that seems to be a pipe dream.

 

Plus wasn't there talk of an app store or something too? Lot of big plans but all of it seems to be trapped in this haze of uncertainty.

Let's be clear about this. Just like WHS V1, Microsoft are only releasing WHS 2011 to the OEM and System Builder channels. There won't be a retail version - but then, there never was for WHS V1 either. I bought my OEM software for my WHS V1 build via a Reseller, and I've just done the same for WHS 2011.

 

The OEM discs of WHS 2011 are now showing up in the Resellers (e.g. the Neweggs and Amazons of this world). Here in the Netherlands it's available and in stock in 10 Resellers.

 

The success of Microsoft's strategy depends on the OEMs taking up the software and building it into packaged products - a backup and digital media storage appliance - that are sold to the "casual users". I would agree with you that the signs of that happening are somewhat thin on the ground, but it's early days yet. However, I do have the nagging feeling, based on my experience of WHS 2011 thus far, that it's even less suited to the "casual users" than WHS V1 was - and that was hardly a rip-roaring success in Microsoft terms.

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Let's be clear about this. Just like WHS V1, Microsoft are only releasing WHS 2011 to the OEM and System Builder channels. There won't be a retail version - but then, there never was for WHS V1 either. I bought my OEM software for my WHS V1 build via a Reseller, and I've just done the same for WHS 2011.

 

The OEM discs of WHS 2011 are now showing up in the Resellers (e.g. the Neweggs and Amazons of this world). Here in the Netherlands it's available and in stock in 10 Resellers.

 

The success of Microsoft's strategy depends on the OEMs taking up the software and building it into packaged products - a backup and digital media storage appliance - that are sold to the "casual users". I would agree with you that the signs of that happening are somewhat thin on the ground, but it's early days yet. However, I do have the nagging feeling, based on my experience of WHS 2011 thus far, that it's even less suited to the "casual users" than WHS V1 was - and that was hardly a rip-roaring success in Microsoft terms.

 

The "casual user" never buys OEM software, but complete solutions. I wouldn't worry about it.

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Well, I do recognize the predominance of the OEM sector and I wouldn't expect a low-end user to purchase the raw OS but last I heard, the manufacturers who were onboard at the outset backed off when word came down about Drive Extender being pulled (and who could blame them; even now I have like five HDDs in my server and I'd could really use it since it's all disparate space). Since then I hadn't heard about any new system makers coming forward saying they'd be offering WHS 2011 units for sale.

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Well, I do recognize the predominance of the OEM sector and I wouldn't expect a low-end user to purchase the raw OS but last I heard, the manufacturers who were onboard at the outset backed off when word came down about Drive Extender being pulled (and who could blame them; even now I have like five HDDs in my server and I'd could really use it since it's all disparate space). Since then I hadn't heard about any new system makers coming forward saying they'd be offering WHS 2011 units for sale.

 

It should also be said that the average user probably doesn't have 2TB of data lying around, and even less likely to have 2TB of data that'll fit into a shared folder (music, pictures, video). Those that do aren't what I'd call a "casual" user.

 

The people that are angered by the removal of DE with 10TB worth of data are also the same people knowledgeable enough to get around that limit without too much trouble. Is it as simple as DE? No, but I'd argue that there were some negatives about DE that made it less than ideal.

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Here is news on 2 OEM manufacturers that are building WHS2011 boxes.

 

We Got Servered - Acer RevoCenter

 

UWHS.COM - Tranquil

 

Tranquil has decided to move forward with DriveBender in their boxes for those that are still looking for the DE type of functions.

 

WHS2011 was RTM less than 30 days ago. To say that the product looks doomed is a little premature.

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I think Microsoft has some mild schizophrenia occurring. They are pushing the whole cloud idea to the public, while WHS 2011 is anything but ‘Cloud’, and storage is local (for now). They can support both concepts if they don’t take this cloud idea too far.

 

Honestly, I like my data sitting in my own home, not ‘out there’.

 

 

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I think Microsoft has some mild schizophrenia occurring. They are pushing the whole cloud idea to the public, while WHS 2011 is anything but ‘Cloud’, and storage is local (for now). They can support both concepts if they don’t take this cloud idea too far.

 

Honestly, I like my data sitting in my own home, not ‘out there’.

I hear that. I'm someone who likes to have their data as a local resource too.

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I would agree that when MS decided to pull DE from WHS 2011 it set them back and they probably rushed to get a final product out. However as noted before, it is very early. I listen to the Windows Weekly podcast with Paul Thurrott. He has recently been touting many of the advances MS is making with some of their server based cloud services (Office 365, Azure, etc.). Of course these are more business related products. He hasn't mentioned specifics, but I seem to recall him giving hints of possible extensions of these things to the recent releases of SBS Essentials and WHS 2011. It would be interesting to see in the coming months if MS actually started making addins or opened up SkyDrive to these products for easy to use added functionality with a link directly from WHS2011.

 

What about more consumer friendly functionality? They would have to open up SkyDrive with additional storage, but maybe they could make it so it could be used like what Amazon and Google are doing with cloud storage.Then again the remote access abilities of WHS2011 take care of that media access that Amazon and Google currently are targeting. I don't know. I ramble sometimes.

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