|HP MediaSmart Home Server|
If you haven't heard about Microsoft's storage play, here's the deal: aiming to cash in on home user's with multiple PCs and large storage requirements, Microsoft and hardware partners are delivering what amounts to the first mainstream storage area network product.
The very first WHS-based system, from HP, went on pre-order on Amazon just this week. For $569 you get 500 GB of expandable storage plus a slew of software tools for managing backup, authorized access and more. You also get some very slick hardware capabilities including the ability to "hot swap" disks without turning off the machine.
IT is used to having networked storage. Most home and small office users are not.
Other vendors including Iomega and LaCie plan to launch Windows Home Server hardware soon.
The server is getting almost universally-positive reviews, not usually the case with first-generation Microsoft products.
Want to learn more? Here's a great review today from Gizmodo.