In the 1960s & 70s the idea of a home computer was unheard of outside of science fiction circles. Before the late 1980s home networks were unheard of.
In 1975 Microsoft was founded with the vision of putting "A computer on every desk and in every home...". Microsoft led the charge in creating a world where a "home computer" something you expect to see in a home.
By including great support for networking technologies (particularly TCP/IP) in Windows 3x and 95 Microsoft ensured ubiquitous networking in businesses and homes. Today there are over 100 million households with a "home network" and Microsoft led the world in making this happen.
When we set about building Windows Home Server we knew we were going to be defining a new category of products and solutions for consumers. We thought long and hard about what we should call the product. As you would expect, there was no shortage of opinions. In fact some very, very senior executives at Microsoft were quite forceful in saying "whatever you do, don't call it a server".
So we worked hard at trying to come up with another name. We tried other "descriptive" names such as "hub". We tried fanciful names (like "Poodle"). But at the end of the day we recognized that no matter what we called the product we would always be describing it as a home server, because that's what it is: A device on a home network that provides centralized services over the network to other devices – helping consumers protect, organize and share their digital content.
In addition, as we did our research we discovered some very interesting things. First, we found that the only people who didn't like the term "server" were technical people who thought they understood consumers. Then we discovered that consumers in our target market (consumers who already have a home network and multiple PCs) understood what a server is, loved the name and the concept, and thought it was "the inevitable next step". In fact we heard loud and clear that many such consumers would feel proud to be able to say they had a server in their home.
This week we started an online advertising campaign for Windows Home Server that, in a humorous way will help explain how Windows Home Server can help families. The campaign complements a range of other communications efforts including events, webinars, online and in-store demonstrations and more.
This campaign will drive home (pun intended) the idea that just as Microsoft was the leader in making "home computer" and "home network" common household terms it is doing it again for "home server".
You can find the landing site for the campaign at www.stayathomeserver.com. Over the next few weeks we will roll out more funny video vignettes that will help families understand why they should have a home server in their household.
We've also commissioned a funny fake children's book titled "Mommy, Why is there a Server in my House?" which will help parents explain why there is a new member of the family. We are sure the book will become a best seller! Check out a teaser of the book on www.stayathomeserver.com right now.
We have home computers, home networks, and the era of home servers has just begun...
SyncToy 2.0 Beta for Windows is available as a free download from the Microsoft Download Center. The easy to use, customizable application helps you copy, move, rename, and delete files between folders and computers. You can use SyncToy to synchronize folders between your home computers and your Windows Home Server.
I use SyncToy to synchronize my photos, music and recorded TV between my laptop and my home server, so that I always have local copies of my stuff when I take my laptop on the road. SyncToy enables you to create multiple folder pairs that you can keep synchronized.
SyncToy enables you to setup multiple options for each folder pair (a "left" folder and a "right" folder), with the key options being the main SyncToy action:
One really cool feature is that you can setup a Scheduled Task to run SyncToy folder pairs on a daily basis or whatever schedule you prefer. Check out the help file to learn other cool things that you can do with this great free download.
After installing the November update you will notice that your network health turns red on your home server. With the November update, you can now get a trusted SSL certificate for your <your_name>.HomeServer.com domain name. If you have already set up remote access, you will need to quickly unconfigure your existing domain name and re-run Setup to acquire an SSL certificate for your HomeServer.com domain name.
This is a pretty simple process of turning off your Windows Live domain and turning it back on. Here is a quick “How To”:
After running the update, you will see this message:
To reconfigure your domain name, open your Windows Home Server Console and click the Settings button.
Once the Settings are open, click the Remote Access page:
As you can see, the Domain Name Status still informs you that it is working. Your Remote Access page should still be viewable away from your home. However, a trusted SSL certificate has not been setup as the earlier Network Health notification informed you.
To complete the setup, click the Unconfigure button. After clicking the Unconfigure button, it will change to a Setup button. Click the Setup button to install a trusted SSL certificate for your HomeServer.com domain name.
Once the Setup button has been clicked, the Domain Name Setup Wizard will open.
Click the Next button to continue.
The Domain Name wizard will ask you to verify your Windows Live ID that you previously used to setup your personalized HomeServer.com Domain. Type in your Windows Live E-mail Address and Password and click Next.
The Domain Name wizard will display all registered names linked to your Windows Live account that you just entered. Select the correct domain name and click Next.
Your Domain Name Status should display “Working” if you have followed these steps.
If you had any problems with this update, please make a post on the WIndows Home Server Community Forums: http://forums.microsoft.com/windowshomeserver