Microsoft released Windows Home Server (WHS) to manufacturing today, hitting the final milestone for software that will power several turnkey home servers that OEMs will put on the market in late September and early October. The move to RTM (release to manufacturing) means that Microsoft has wrapped up WHS and handed it off to its internal distribution teams and hardware partners, said Joel Sider, senior product manager. Those OEM partners grew by two today, as Iomega and Fujitsu-Siemens Computers were added to a list that already included Hewlett-Packard, Gateway, LaCie, and Medion. Details on the Fujitsu-Siemens and Iomega systems were scanty today, but the former will be a 500GB product with gigabit Ethernet, while the latter will contain up to four hot-swappable drives.
"The main change from RC (release candidate) was that the domain for remote access is now homeserver.com," said Sider. "We also did some fine tuning and polishing and killed off the last few bugs." For the most part, however, the RC version was solid enough that few changes were necessary -- one of the reasons the team was able to shift the server software so quickly out of development and into distribution. "The team was very focused," said Sider, responding to a question about how WHS was able to move from public announcement to RTM in just over six months. "But simplicity was also job number one. We wanted to provide a really powerful but not endless feature set. We were being pretty conservative with what we were trying to achieve, something that I think helped us avoid 'feature creep.'"