The time has come for a home server for media storage and backups for Mac and Windows.
Microsoft’s solution will fail, but even Windows users will buy Apple’s home server system in disguise.
Windows Everywhere is starting to wear very thin these days. In January, Microsofts’ Bill Gates introduced the Windows Home Server.
While no one was paying attention, Apple’s Steve Jobs did the same only better.
The Windows Home Server will sell for as much as $1,000. How many homes will buy one? The biggest part of Apple’s home server solution retails for $179 and works on Macs and Windows PCs.
At Mac360 we’ve written about the need for backups, Mac or Windows, so a home server would appear to be a good solution. Except for a number of problems. The first is cost. $1,000 for a home server?
Windows Home Server runs a version of Windows Server 2003, and requires another PC. Apple’s home server solution is more elegant and requires a Mac or a PC, but the one you have, not another one.
I ready Roughly Drafted’s comparison of Windows Home Server vs. Airport Extreme, and their perspective is about the same as ours. Airport Extreme is part of Apple’s home server strategy.
Of course, some prognosticators love another Microsoft solution. Take Paul Thurrott. Please.
Instead of a complex, expensive, difficult-to-set-up server solution that requires a certified Windows geek to manage, Apple decided that less is more, simple is better, inexpensive will sell more.
How? Add an external USB hard drive to a new Airport Extreme, and you’re ready with a flexible home server backup solution at about one third to one half the price of Microsoft’s Windows Home Server PC option.
Without going into all the complexities Microsoft has thrown into the landfill of Windows Home Server, suffice it to say it’s not something you can install on your PC, it’ll cost you more money for another box and new software to learn, and it’s more complicated than figuring out how much money Bill Gates has left.
Add that extra hard drive to a new Airport Extreme, Mac or Windows PC, and every Mac or PC in your home can be backed up, either via wireless or an ethernet cable. Even better, Airport Extreme doubles as a router for all your home computers, the wireless base station, and a printer sharing device.
Setup? Sorry, no Microsoft Certification necessary. Apple’s Bojour “just works” on Mac or Windows PC, as either will recognize the extra hard drive attached to Airport Extreme.
Some would argue that Apple’s solution is also overkill. After all, the extra hard drive really isn’t required, it just makes life much easier and provides a better backup system.
Are you ready for a home server backup solution? How does Windows Home Server compare to an Airport Extreme and your Mac (or PC)?