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Did Microsoft kill Windows Home Server by removing Drive Extender?



There are a lot of people very upset with Microsoft today; namely, just about the entire Windows Home Server market!  So why the sudden hating on Microsoft?

Microsoft today announced in an update on the Windows Home Server Blog that they are pulling the plug on the Drive Extender feature within the upcoming implementation of WHS code-named “Vail”:

When weighing up the future direction storage in the consumer and SMB market, the team felt the Drive Extender technology was not meeting our customer needs. Therefore, moving forward we have decided to remove the Drive Extender technology from Windows Home Server Code Name “Vail” (and Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials and Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials) which are currently in beta.

Microsoft follows up this news with promises that it will address the concerns of many of the existing Windows Home Server users who for the most part, are up in arms about DE’s removal from the Vail beta.  Microsoft continues:

While this removes the integrated ability for storage pooling of multiple hard drives and automated data duplication, we are continuing to work closely with our OEM partners to implement storage management and protection solutions, as well as other software solutions. This will provide customers greater choice as well as a seamless experience that will meet their storage needs. Customers will also have access to the in-built storage solutions Windows Server 2008 R2 provides for data protection. We are also still delivering core features such as automated Server and PC backup, easy sharing of folders and files, Remote Web Access and simplified management without any expected changes.

While many blog comments I read both on Microsoft’s WHS Blog site as well as well-read blogs like our friends at indicate outrage amongst the Windows Home Server community, my first impression is to just wait and see.   I for one and am not going to run out and give up on WHS over this, but plan on see what the finished product looks like and more importantly…trust (hope?) that Microsoft realizes how important the Home Technology industry is and how big their market share when it comes to home media streaming.

Let’s go Microsoft!  Don’t fail us now!


[via WHS Blog and\

About the Author

BillyPut simply, Tom (a.k.a Billy) loves technology! He’s been involved in the IT world since leaving the Navy in 1992 and has moved his way up to the top on the systems engineering side. After taking a short deviation into home automation, he’s never been able to shake his love for creating an environment of complete integration at home. If there is a way to make the various systems in his home more seamless (even if they weren’t originally meant to talk to each other) he’s up to the challenge of figuring out how to make it work!View all posts by Billy

Setup & Integration of Home Technology: Home Theater - Home Server - HTPC - Home Networks