Las Vegas (NV) - You probably have computers with gigabytes maybe terabytes of pictures, songs and videos, but how do you manage it all? Bill Gates, Microsoft's Chairman and Co-Founder, has a solution and announced Windows Home Server at his pre-CES keynote address. In front of a packed Venitian Hotel auditorium, where people waited more than two hours to enter, at the Venetian Hotel, Gates explained how Home Server could automatically back up all your Vista or Windows XP computers and give you access to the content through the Internet.
Home Server is an operating system that will scan your computers and then backup the data to itself, providing centralized storage of not only regular documents, but also multimedia content. If one of your home computers crashes, you can then restore entire computers or just individual files.
A nice bonus of putting everything in one box is that you can then access the content through the Internet. Window Home Server will give a free personalized Windows Live address with no monthly access fees. From the Internet, just access that address and type in a username and password to view all the computers and shared folders.
Gates also promised Home Server would be easy to set up. Hard drives should be a cinch to add and he claimed that you don't even need to worry about formatting, naming or partitioning when adding an extra drive. Basically you plug it in and the OS will do the rest.
Gates said Windows Home Server should sell later in the year with hardware products like the HP server shipping in the second half. No price was specified.
While Windows Home Server promises to backup other Windows computers, Mr. Gates didn't answer one important question, namely how does it back itself up? Are the drives automatically mirrored or put into RAID 5? We will try to get those answers during the regular CES show starting on Monday.