Now, as anyone who reads my blog knows, I am very into Mac hardware and software these days, but this product has me legitmately excited. It’s great, and I see TONS of need for something like this. You see, as computers become more like TVs in that families begin to routinely have more than one in the house, it becomes necessary to have a central storage hub and a decent redundancy system. No one has anything like this today, pretty much you have (1) burn to DVD, (2) external hard drives, (3) iPods, which some people use this for backing up music, and (4) actual server OSes, which is generally limited to techies.
So, read the comments on OSNews and you’ll find a general anti-Microsoft vibe. If Apple announced this, people would be going bat shit for Mac Home Server. Seriously, imagine if you could buy some sort of $299 Mac device and set up .mac on your computer to sync to it. People would go absolutely bonkers to get one. But Microsoft releases it and people call Bill Gates crazy or just ramble on about how it’s a bad idea.
I’m so tired of the online tech crowd being so black and white. I’m tired of the battles. I’m tired of the stupid fighting – Gnome/KDE, Microsoft/Apple, Ubuntu/Fedora, Microsoft/Google, it goes on and on. And it’s tiring. No company is truly 100% good or bad, and Microsoft is capable of releasing hits (Windows 2003, VSC, GroupShot) just like Apple is capable of releasing misses (Aperature 1.0, Backup 3, the entire .Mac product). I just prefer Apple, but I don’t carry on like a fourth grader about it and whine about everything that comes from Redmond.
Windows Home Server will probably be a mild success, but 2.0 and 3.0 will probably see even wider deployment and success. Companies know that early is good. Sony knows Blu-ray will lose money, just as Hitachi and whomever else know HD-DVD will lose money. Because geting out there and establishing your technology will mean big things in the future, when the world is ready for these things. In the case of high def DVDs, sadly for the above, there may be another format change before the world cares. Because what exists today is “good enough.”
But not so with home server needs. What exists today is “pain in the ass” at best. And it’s rarely done at all. This is a completely untapped market. Bravo to Gates for seeing the need and pouncing early. And Mr. Jobs: boo to you. You already play nice with NTFS. How cool would it have been to release an Apple appliance that can backup everything on your Mac, not to mention your Windows PCs – profiles, documents, etc – and all iTunes music, cross platform? Too bad you didn’t jump on that one.