Microsoft bought the "HomeServer.Com" domain a year or so ago. The transaction that involved 3 companies, 4 foreign languages and 3 currencies. It took awhile to complete, and it is a funny story that I like to tell in person. But that is not what this post is about ...
When we enabled the Dynamic DNS services for Windows Home Server in the CTP build, we used to 2 test domains (livenode.com and livenode2.com) where Windows Home Server beta testers could get a personalized domain name (e.g. SmithFamily.livenode.com) for remote access to their home server while away from home.
I have some great news to share with all of our early beta testers. If you registered a personalized domain name with either livenode.com or livenode2.com prior to this weekend (August 3, 2007), that domain name will get transferred over to HomeServer.com when you install the RTM (Release to Manufacturing) version of Windows Home Server. This was a one time transfer as a "THANKS" to all of our early testers.
We worked hard to make this happen. We know how important it can be to get your desired personalized domain name. We never could promise this, until we were 100% sure it would work. It works !! I just installed the RTM copy of the Windows Home Server software (one advantage to working on the team) and my domain name automatically showed up as ______.homeserver.com after I logged in with my Windows Live ID.
Any future domain names registered with either the Release Candidate (RC) build or the Windows Home Server 120-day Evaluation edition will be registered as livenode.com domains and will not be transferred over to HomeServer.com. All new domain names registered with the RTM version of Windows Home Server will be using HomeServer.com starting today.
Thanks again to all of the early beta testers!!! Your feedback through the Connect site, Community Forums and Newsgroup throughout the testing of Windows Home Server has been fantastic.
Interesting article late last week in the always popular Computer Reseller News: "Microsoft Partners Eagerly Awaiting Windows Home Server." Yours truly is paraphrased, saying:
Although Windows Home Server is designed to be easy to install and use, the software fits well into the toolbox of home integrators, who can wrap it into a smart home solution along with home automation and networking technologies.
Microsoft developed Home Server to make it easy for consumers to take it home from the store (pre-installed on OEM hardware), plug it into the wall and into their router, install the client software, and quickly begin realizing the product's benefits. But we think - and we're hearing the same from the solution provider and ISV crowd - that Home Server is also a new platform for "smart homes" that can power all sorts of interesting applications. The home automation possibilities are especially cool, and companies in that area, such as Embedded Automation and Lagotek are already working with us.
IDC's Home Automation and Home Network Survey 2007 (#207741) issued last month found that half of respondents and more than half of home network owners expressed interest in controlling home appliances, thermostats, and lights from anywhere in the house or from any Internet connection using their home network. (Interestingly, home security applications were of significant interest, but among the least likely to be implemented yet.)
Sounds like the opportunity is real and growing. I believe a good number of this blog's readers are consultants/system integrators/solution providers...what do you think?