Thursday, January 11, 2007

Windows Home Server: At last, I say something nice about Microsoft

Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows: Windows Home Server has the summary. I’ve been waiting a long time for this — but I was hoping (against hope) that it would come from Apple.

This is where we need to go; a home computing appliance with integrated backup and integrated secure remote access.

Microsoft is providing WHS users with a free Internet address via Windows Live. This address will give you a remote interface into your entire home network, not just WHS. You will be able to access any shared folders remotely, or even control individual PCs remotely.

All is not lost however ...

Mac user? You can access the WHS shared folders as you would any other Windows share, and that means your backup program--like Apple's Backup--can use a share as a save location as well. "We're a great back-end store for Time Machine," Headrick told me, alluding to the new backup feature Apple recently announced for Mac OS X Leopard.

Detente perhaps?

The missing piece is remote application executing using Microsoft’s very robust windows terminal services. That omission may be related to cost (CPU and memory demands on the server) or support and licensing concerns.

Very good, very impressive, and it’s about time. I’d very much like to see something comparable from Apple, but maybe they’d decided to surrender this to Microsoft. That would not bode well for Apple Computer Inc.

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