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News Microsoft kills off Windows Home Server

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by brumgrunt, 6 Jul 2012.

  1. brumgrunt

    brumgrunt New Member

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  2. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    So, wait, Microsoft is taking on a wealth of free or very low cost and highly capable OS alternatives by charging over $400? Or is it not fighting it at all and trying to go for medium-business with 15 users? Does business need DLNA?
     
  3. Almightyrastus

    Almightyrastus Rule #9

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    Right then, for the first time in my computing history, I'll be using an obsolete and unsupported OS as there is no way I am paying that to 'upgrade' my WHS2011 microserver.
     
  4. Phil Rhodes

    Phil Rhodes Hypernobber

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    I don't understand what these are for, really. Streaming media? You mean, playing something over an SMB share? What do these server products do that can't be done by "a computer with an OS on it"?

    Much as I hate to be the one to say this, but if it were possible for normal humans to make Samba shares (and mounting of NTFS volumes, and USB devices, etc) work on Linux, I'd ask why Johnny Average wouldn't just use Ubuntu. Servers are about the only place it seems to work well.
     
  5. DragunovHUN

    DragunovHUN I want to change my name but I also don't

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    Makes sense.
     
  6. Marvin-HHGTTG

    Marvin-HHGTTG CTRL + SHIFT + ESC

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    Well, basically being Windows it's easy enough for folk who are used to it to pick up, any Windows-compatible program will work on it (except HP printer drivers :shakesfist:), and it can automatically back up Windows machines in the home and wherever, and provides an easy GUI remote client for management. It also sorts out remote web access for the most part too.

    Basically it's for people who are either used to Windows and would like an in-house solution, or for those who don't have the time/patience/inclination to install a Linux distro and then the relevant packages, do some configuring/lots of configuring and working mostly in the command line.

    I tried the Linux route, but my server was to run Murmur (which didn't seem to work very well on Linux - it wouldn't set the Superuser password, or server password in fact), and so I ended up with WHS 2011, which was reasonably priced (~£35), certainly more so than this announcement.

    I see Microsoft has seen that the WHS sales have eaten into their business server edition sales. This will just push more people to Linux. They had something good - a niche market that almost certainly had decent revenue, and have now ruined it.
     
  7. Ergath

    Ergath Giant Zombie Pigeon Photographer

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    WHS is a great product and this is a great shame. I understand why MS have taken the decision - I'm guessing the number of WHS licences sold doesn't really warrant the development/support time it costs them - but I will miss it when it's gone.

    Yeah sure, I can switch to a Linux box/NAS but the automatic disk imaging and restore function is a great comfort for those of us with a few different PCs and not much spare time; its a hell of a lot easier to reimage than to spend hours trying to troubleshoot.

    Of course, Win8 could be so robust that you never need to reimage..... but I suspect not.
     
  8. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag New Member

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    This was probably the worst time MS could have ever made this decision. ARM is by far the best platform for a home server. They're low power, they're small, quiet/silent, but good enough to get the job done. I guess for Windows users it isn't so ideal because pretty much no server programs run on it. To make matters worse, many new ARM devices have that pathetic MS certification thing or whatever it is so people can't install an alternative server OS.

    I agree with Phil Rhodes entirely. I feel as though if people really want a more user-friendly linux server, someone ought to develop a GUI for that. But in some ways I feel that is unnecessary considering the amount of tutorials out there. CLI isn't that hard. If you learn it properly, its faster and easier than a GUI. I know too many people who are great with computers, have no problem with linux whatsoever, are aware and accepting of its downsides, yet they don't even try using it on one of their spare unused computers or a computer that would be better off running it (like a home server).
     
  9. TheManicGibbon

    TheManicGibbon I have no idea what's going on

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    Surely you mean that OEMs can buy it until 2015, and not 2025 like it says in the article...

    Seems a stupid decision though, I always thought WHS was a good idea.
     
  10. kenco_uk

    kenco_uk I unsuccessfully then tried again

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    I wouldn't mind so much if the price wasn't so high. WHS 2011 was around £80 iirc - an absolute bargain for an OS. WS2012E is just too much money for home/small business/enthusiast users. Granted, it's got funky new features, but they're not worth the massive price hike. They could do a WHS2012 limited to, say 5 users, no vs support, limited support for server programs (i.e. sql, exchange, ts, vpn etc) or.. well.. no support. AD would be a bit overkill for 5 users.

    In fact, if Win8 comes with the drive pooling tech by default, may as well change to a desktop os and run it barebones for a headless server.
     
  11. Marvin-HHGTTG

    Marvin-HHGTTG CTRL + SHIFT + ESC

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    £80? No, it's more of a bargain than that.

    I think Microsoft have killed it because it eats into their higher sales, not because it doesn't have enough sales to warrant development.
     
  12. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Nup - 2025, according to Microsoft - and if Microsoft doesn't know, god help us.
     
  13. TheManicGibbon

    TheManicGibbon I have no idea what's going on

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    Wow, that seems...crazy
     
  14. Tattysnuc

    Tattysnuc Thinking about which mod to do 1st.

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    Seems fair enough to me. It can only be a good thing for hardware support, as well as being a sustainable product for a longer period of time.

    WHS is a very niche program, and ms do offer better products.... just at a cost. They're out there to sell software folks, and at £38 per version WHS is a very small part of the market. It must cost them a disproportionate amount to develop and support it....
     
  15. Gundam God

    Gundam God New Member

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    So will 2012E have DE back or am I going to have to stick with WHS until I can be bothered to look into alternatives (i.e. unraid) ?
     
  16. fluxtatic

    fluxtatic New Member

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    What? That applies to so-far-nonexistent tablets running Windows RT, unless I missed something. What you say is true, as far as it goes, but this has no bearing on servers whatsoever. Ubuntu has already been demonstrated running on ARM. At this point, it's likely a matter of ROI - there will need to be ARM servers in a whole lot of datacenters before some OEM decides to take a chance on releasing commodity hardware for this sort of community. It's largely a matter of not wanting to take a chance before demand has been proven right now. Maybe someone should get on porting a server flavor of Linux to RPi - there'd be nerds creaming their jeans the world over for that.

    I tried - Ubuntu Server Edition, Ubuntu desktop, Linux Mint. Mint came closest, but after dicking around with it for three days, what finally killed it was not being able to find a remote client that would work with both Mint and Win7 64-bit. I could get to the machine, but I would only get a black screen. Damn near everywhere I went looking for how to do this or that, it was people either talking down to the n00bs, or people assuming a level of knowledge with Linux that I didn't have. At least with Windows I can find support from people that aren't total assholes (not that all Linux users are assholes, but those that 'offer' support sure seem to be.) I would agree, though - yes, 'real server admins' don't need no stinkin GUI...but this is also the real world. According to rumor, MS originally wasn't going to put a GUI in Server 2012, until it became clear that Windows admins aren't all samurai. I know I'd go a little batty if I had to try to admin a server with no GUI whatsoever. I could actually see the Live Tiles idea being useful and cool for a server - let me remote in and see without opening anything what's going on.

    That said, I still do plenty on the command line in Windows. While I may not remember one of the half-dozen ways I can get to a function in the GUI, I can remember how to get to the command in CLI. If it's something not already in the %path and I use it more than once, I put it there, leaving it a matter of opening a command prompt and a single command to get to it.

    Most likely - iirc, Win8 itself will have it, but now they're calling it Storage Spaces. Might only be in Pro and up, so 2012E may not (want the coolest feature? It only doubles the price!)

    Very disappointing, this news. I kinda dug WHS 2011. I wiped it as I didn't think my hardware could handle it (Brazos E350), but the issue was likely something else. That's when I tried Linux...after that debacle, I threw Win7 on it and called it good. But I'm getting an itch to try WHS again.
     
  17. PingCrosby

    PingCrosby New Member

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    Am I on ' The Secret World's' website? its driving me up the wall, what an intrusive advert
     
  18. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag New Member

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    I see your point about reliability, but it needs to start somewhere. MS not releasing this is not going to make it happen any time soon, so that argument is somewhat irrelevant. You could argue that MS is wasting their time with RT because there's almost no programs available, but there needs to be a beginning at some point. Also, I didn't say that tablets should be used for servers. Obviously they're the main focus of RT because RT isn't a server OS and RT is too bloated to work on most other ARM devices.

    What remote clients did you use that didn't work? Linux and VNC or SSH are very effective, easy, and cross-platform. Assuming you were using VNC, the VNC server matters significantly. for example, x11vnc has almost no similarity to vnc4server aside from the fact that they're both VNCs. x11vnc is pretty easy to set up, has a LOT of features and does what you expect it to do if you were running Windows (it transmits your currently active desktop). Pretty much all other VNC programs on linux don't work that way. They create a separate display that has no relation to your first one, and if you don't tell what that display to do, it will be blank. There are ways of getting those other VNCs to share your active display but generally I've found that X over SSH has been far more useful to me than VNC or RDP or anything else for that matter.

    While I agree that if you want a GOOD server, you won't run a GUI (because GUIs are a little demanding for something that isn't vital), using ubuntu might not be the best choice either. It may be decent for beginners but much like Windows, it crams too much stuff in that don't need to be there, it assumes what you want, and I personally don't find it very stable or reliable (which is weird in the linux world). Ubuntu, IMO, is ruining the image of linux.

    I really like the CLI, I find it really fast and often easier. However, I absolutely despise the Windows CLI - it lacks too many features (and I don't use shells like ZSH) and I find it very user unfriendly.

    Ah, you never mentioned it was an AMD platform, I thought you were referring to ARM. Yeah, on a netbook I Ubuntu or Mint might run a little slow at times. Ubuntu and Mint are just about the heaviest linux distros out there. I personally find Win7 also too heavy for netbooks unless you spend the time to dumb it down a little but I'm a major optimizer. It's somewhat hard to recommend a distro to a beginner that will run well on a netbook. I myself use Debian and Arch, but I expect you'll find those a little too difficult since they're the kind of OS you piece together from the ground up. When I had my 900MHz celeron netbook, I ran Debian on it and it performed better than the average office computer running Windows XP, and it could do more than the average XP setup.
     
  19. law99

    law99 Custom User Title

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    Setting up a samba share with linux isn't hard... the hard part is whether gigabit will auto negotiate properly and run at those speeds. At least from when I started using gigabit networks. It wasn't a problem when I was on 100mb obviously.

    The worst part was, although a great community, the Ubuntu lot, or debian, all came back with the same answers... the issues were known and probably not going to be worked out any time soon.
     
  20. law99

    law99 Custom User Title

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    at least with Ubuntu, you can install just the GUI and bare essentials and use startx to launch it with it defaulting to not running on boot. That way you get the GUI for when you are sick of sanity checks and cd ; ls type nonsense. Plus, I never understood how to use a text editor in the shell. It is just way too before my time. I much prefer a combination cli and gui.
     
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