Microsoft is continuing its two-decade push into the home entertainment arena by teaming with HP on a new "home server" for sharing downloaded content.
I'm happy to see more attempts at making it easy to share music, images, and videos throughout the home, including to the TV, but this product misses the mark as a mass media web content device.
Most consumers won't want to pay $600 to $750 and set up a server just to share photos around the house. Shouldn't Vista be able to do this on its own, why do I need another box? And I believe you still have to buy the wireless networking equipment separately. Also not included -- a way to share content with TVs. IF you have an Xbox 360 you can stream content wirelessly to it to share it with a TV. Great, more equipment to buy.
The home server also can't share recorded TV online (like Sling Media), which needs to be part of the equation. I want a wireless gadget that plugs into my TV to send content in both directions, not to become an IT department.
One feature that could come back to haunt Microsoft: each server "includes a free Windows Live Internet address to access the home server from virtually anywhere and share content with friends and family."
So photos, music, home movies, music, web video, and music can all be accessed by friends through the server. Microsoft (like Google and other online file sharing services) already allow you to share files through a password protected site, but now you've got a dedicated box to spread your music library around. If the music industry is going to hold ISPs accountable, why not go after MS for providing the hardware, software, and online service to stream music?
Via: Information Week