So who is the target market? RRS feed

  • Question

  • When I described my home network setup in another thread it was suggested that my network is slightly more sophisticated than your average Joe's and maybe WHS wasn't for me. I've been pondering this and have concluded that my network at home is going to be increasingly typical over the next few years. I did a straw poll at work and 80% of people I spoke with have more or less my setup, especially if they have kids. I'm no power user although I know more than most people I know. I am what you IT techs might call a dangerous enthusiast

    So my network at home looks like this:

    I have two kids each with their own PC connecting to the network via wi-fi. In the living room I have an Xbox 360 acting as a media extender and PVR and occasional games machine. I have another 360 in my bedroom again acting as media extender although I mainly use it to catch up on TV I've recorded. I have a Philips Streamium in the kitchen for music since I spend a lot of time cooking. I also have a laptop in the kitchen that I mainly use for catching up on e-mail and the opccasional googled recipe. In the study I have a PC running Vista Premium that was my main media hub being on 24/7, recording TV, streaming media, backup storage and general work PC. I also have a company laptop that I also backup to my home network. My girlfriend staysover a few nights per week and brings her laptop. I have an iPAQ that I occasionally use to surf the net but it is really used as a work PIM. There's also a Nintendo Wii on the network. Lastly there is a small NAS with two big disks backing up all the data the house creates and syncing with the Vista machine. I live 350 miles from my family so to allow them to see the latest pics/videos of my kids I setup a webserver. However, this proved a pain in arse and took a lot of mgt so I now use some on-line services. I have no need to manage e-mail from within my own network and we just use my ISP for that.Anyway, the kids are on MSN so never download their e-mail.  Actually, I've missed something out, I dabble in home automation that I can control from a few PC's but home automation in the UK is not nearly as mature as it is in the US but is gaining popularity.

     I appreciate that I probably have a bit more technology than most households  However, the basic setup is not that uncommon and will become increasingly the case. Especially all those households that have an Xbox 360 and don't realise all the other stuff it can do other than playing games. I've been extolling it's virtues to loads of friends who had no clue that the games console they bought their kids at Xmas has many more uses; maybe there's a lesson there for MS.

    The fact is that I have  a need to back all of this stuff up  as painlessly and as quickly as possible with the least amount of mgt. WHS is very nearly the answer for me and I will buy it when it gets released although as it cuirently stands it will mean another PC on my network that is up 24/7. However, it needs to be able to run MCE and properly support NAS devices although the latter is fixable depending on the NAS you buy. My current NAS (well SAN) will never be supported under WHS for example which is nothing to do with MS. Being an MS OS I can see an increasing number of 3rd party apps designed WHS that might add in some of the features that other people have been requesting (like home automation mgt for example)

    The point is that there is market for a small secure simple do it all box in my view and with some additional features WHS could be just about perfect. 

    Thursday, March 8, 2007 10:58 AM