SDK for Windows Home Server Released

Microsoft has announced the availability of a software development kit (SDK) for its first-ever consumer-oriented server, Windows Home Server (WHS).

The SDK allows development of applications for WHS, which is slated for general release sometime in the second half of this year.

To use the SDK requires the SDK itself, of course, the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE), and the C# programming language. The SDK can be downloaded from here. Developers are required to sign up for the beta program to download the SDK.

The SDK page includes the SDK, a developer's guide including an application programming interface (API) overview and programming tutorial, and the Windows Home Server API reference.

WHS is currently in beta 2 release. The idea behind it is to give home users a server that can function as a centralized repository for data, as well as a single place from which to secure a home network, and provide remote access to the network from, for example, a laptop.

Details about how WHS will be released are undergoing some revision. At first, it was only going to be sold through OEMs like HP and Dell. The first servers built specifically for WHS are supposed to be MediaSmart Servers from HP. More recently, though, Charlie Kindel, general manager of the Windows Home Server group at Microsoft, has indicated that WHS might become available in an out-of-the-box configuration.

According to information on the WHS development team blog, the initial offering of the product will have a single edition only, although there are hints that other editions may be offered. WHS will support up to 10 users and a Guest account.

Some people have compared WHS to Microsoft's other small server, Small Business Server (SBS). Some of the major differences between the two products are that SBS can handle up to 75 employees or users, and SBS includes e-mail functionality, which WHS lacks.

No pricing information for WHS is available yet. The WHS blog indicates, however, that it will be less expensive than SBS. SBS Standard Edition is $599, with five client access licenses going for $489.

WHS was first introduced last January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It was formerly known by the code-name Quattro.

About the Author

Keith Ward is editor of Virtualization Review magazine. You can contact Keith at [email protected].