While not unexpected, Microsoft made it official, Windows Home Server joins the Zune, Kin and others in the Microsoft product graveyard. But that doesn’t mean its dead yet. It will be available as an OEM DVD (such as from Newegg) through 2013. Plus, mainstream support doesn’t end until April 16, 2016 so we’ll have security fixes through then at least. I assume we’ll also get general bug fixes if they’re bad enough. OEMs can install it on devices through 2025 but that seems more bizarre than realistic.
Microsoft’s Plan? From the Windows Server 2012 Essentials FAQ (PDF Link):
Q: Will there be a next version of Windows Home Server?
A: No. Windows Home Server has seen its greatest success in small office/home office (SOHO) environments and among the technology enthusiast community. For this reason, Microsoft is combining the features that were previously only found in Windows Home Server, such as support for DLNA-compliant devices and media streaming, into Windows Server 2012 Essentials and focusing our efforts into making Windows Server 2012 Essentials the ideal first server operating system for both small business and home use—offering an intuitive administration experience, elastic and resilient storage features with Storage Spaces, and robust data protection for the server and client computers.
Unless they discount the $425 retail price of the license I don’t see a lot of homes using SBS 2012e as a home server. (Except for enthusiasts who have a Technet subscription.)
I’ll be running my Windows Home Server 2011 until something better suited for me comes along. My Windows Home Server doesn’t know it’s terminal so it will keep chugging along. Technology is constantly changes as are my storage needs. April 2016 is the earliest I would be forced off WHS. I suspect it will seem like old tech long before that and I’ll move to something more appropriate for the times. That is, assuming I still want a central storage box. I’m already heavily invested in Synology NAS’s, which I love, so they certainly have an edge. But if they could replace my WHS they would have done so already.
Considering or running WHS? Does Microsoft’s announcement change anything for you?