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  #1  
Old 11-24-2010, 12:39 AM
Jason Dunn
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Default Microsoft Ignites Customer Fury By Announcing Removal of Drive Extender Technology in Next-Gen "Vail" Product

<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.wegotserved.com/2010/11/23/microsoft-abandons-development-windows-home-server-drive-extender/' target='_blank'>http://www.wegotserved.com/2010/11/...drive-extender/</a><br /><br /></div><p><em>"In a shock move, Microsoft today announced that it had abandoned development of Windows Home Server's Drive Extender storage technology. The announcement comes almost eight months into a public beta of the next version of Windows Home Server, codenamed "Vail", and will result in Vail, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials (Codename "Aurora") and Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials (Codename "Breckenridge") shipping without Microsoft's advanced storage subsystem."</em></p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com//dht/auto/1290554775.usr1.png" style="border: 0;" /></p><p>In a <a href="http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/windowshomeserver/archive/2010/11/23/windows-home-server-code-name-vail-update.aspx" target="_blank">blog post earlier today</a>, Michael Leworthy from Microsoft's Windows Home Server team dropped a bombshell: the next-generation Windows Home Server software, currently code-named "Vail", will not come with Drive Extender technology. The outage among WHS users has been swift and furious - the first post has racked up more than 130 user comments, and <a href="http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/windowshomeserver/archive/2010/11/23/windows-home-server-code-name-vail-and-drive-extender.aspx" target="_blank">the second blog post</a> - which strangely doesn't explain much of anything - is quickly gaining. As an avid WHS user myself, I find this extremely puzzling. Yes, Drive Extender has some technological limitations and quirks - performance wasn't always great - but the negatives were massively outshone by the positives: the ability to connect any sized hard drive you wanted, and have that hard drive added to the huge pool of storage on your server.</p><p>This simple, no-fuss approach is what made the product so incredible. I don't want to have to shell out big bucks for identically sized hard drives all at once to build a RAID array; I want to add bigger hard drives slowly over time when they become less expensive. Vail takes that key advantage away and replaces it with nothing - that's what's most puzzling about this: Microsoft isn't giving any concrete reasons for why it's being removed, and worse, they're not saying what they're going to replace it with. This is an epic failure of communication and leadership on the part of the Windows Home Server Team. I for one will continue to use my HP Windows Home Server for as long as I can because I have no desire to lose the functionality I currently have.</p>
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  #2  
Old 11-24-2010, 01:11 AM
Stinger
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The people at Drobo must be rubbing their hands with glee.
 
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  #3  
Old 11-24-2010, 01:42 AM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinger View Post
The people at Drobo must be rubbing their hands with glee.
Indeed. That's the first product I thought of when I read this news about Vail.
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Old 11-24-2010, 03:30 AM
Lee Yuan Sheng
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Oh crap, there goes my alternative to Drobo; the distributor for Drobo here jacks up the price by 25%. -.-
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Old 11-24-2010, 03:47 AM
ptyork
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Gee, thanks for ruining my day, Jason!

This really is the nail in the coffin for Microsoft for me. Or at least A nail. It isn't even so much that *I* need this feature. It is the fact that they took UNQUESTIONABLY the #1 selling point of this product (over COUNTLESS other backup and storage solutions) and trashed it. That tells me that they have NO vision. NO direction. NO frakking clue! Removal of a useful feature I can forgive. Especially if it is for a good reason. The whiny 2nd post tells me that this is a decision made higher up in the chain. Basically a decision that is either 1) intentionally killing WHS by removing its appeal, or 2) unintentionally doing so. Either one is unforgivable. If 1, then it tells me that committing to a Microsoft-based solution has now become as much of a gamble as committing to joe-schmo's new fangled, venture-capital funded solution. If 2, then management is so insanely stupid and disconnected from the consumer that they don't deserve consideration.

Regardless, WHS is obviously a dead product. Time to start boning up on my Linux, I guess.
 
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  #6  
Old 11-24-2010, 01:57 PM
gdoerr56
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Completely unbelievable.

Not to rant again, but while Mr. Jobs certainly does have his character flaws he gets stuff like this. Microsoft would have been better off not even announcing Vail and letting it die a slow, 1.0 product death like they have many times. Worse, I fear that even with the community outrage over this decision, they will not change direction. I think Microsoft needs to fire their entire Product Management group and start over. You might as well throw Corporate Communications in there too.

Iíve been running WHS since the first beta and have been eagerly awaiting the release of Vail. Iím running DNS, DHCP, Sage and Homeseer on my WHS box and it all works great, I guess I need to look for an alternative.

Someone should check with Bill and see if he wants to come back. At least he had a vision and knew how to rally the troops.
 
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  #7  
Old 11-24-2010, 05:22 PM
Sven Johannsen
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Absolutely idiotic. There is more info here http://community.winsupersite.com/bl...23/120150.aspx on some of the reasons for the change in direction. To paraphrase, MS was going to move the technology into larger server implementations, had problems, and so is dumping the concept. For Pete's sake, it is a great concept for the basic consumer who doesn't want an IT departrment to help backup data. Might have had some issues, but is briliantly easy to use.

I have no idea were MS is going, they essentially blew off the enterprise to go after the consumer in WP7, and now are blowing off the consumer to service the Enterprise in this area. I'd be happy with just added Media Server functionality and rock solid DE in Vail for my home use. Heck I'd be happy with just rock solid DE. The device is largely a set it and forget it box in the basement now.

Part of the stated issue is that WHS is a niche product, and so distinct developement isn't warrented. Why is that do you suppose? Marketing? Every single person I have introduced to WHS with more than a couple of PCs at home loves the product...but they had never heard of it. For the love of God, MS, market the thing. For the price of one laptop, a family of four can have such simple piece of mind that it would be folly not to invest in it.
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  #8  
Old 11-24-2010, 10:49 PM
Jason Dunn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sven View Post
To paraphrase, MS was going to move the technology into larger server implementations, had problems, and so is dumping the concept.
That's pretty incredible...
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