Windows Home Server is a fantastic product! It’s one of the best products to come out of Microsoft in the past few years. If you’re a Windows Media Center user, like me, then it makes all the sense in the world to also be running a WHS. Recently Microsoft released a beta of Power Pack 3 for WHS which added even more great integration with Media Center. For more details on it you can read our review here.
So the question you’re probably asking yourself right now is: “if he likes WHS so much why is he giving up on it?” It’s a great question with a simple answer: electricity.
While I don’t think anyone could ever call me a tree-hugger, I have been trying to make changes to my life to try and better care for the planet we’ve all been given. How does that really relate to WHS? It’s simple. I currently have a Windows 7 Media Center system that is always on. There isn’t anything I can really do about that. I also use an XBOX 360 as a Media Center Extender on my main viewing television. The XBOX is usually on for many hours per day due to its importance in my setup. Adding another computer that needs to be constantly running just seems like too much to me.
What I’m really hoping is that what Ben Drawbaugh of EngadgetHD has predicted. In an article he wrote in May he described how he though Microsoft might be, and should be, moving to combine Windows Media Center and Windows Home Server into one operating system. If this were the case I could turn the box that is currently my Media Center into my Windows Home Media Server. Then I would only have one computer that is always on, but would still have all of the benefits of having both operating systems.
So until Microsoft combines the two products, or I decide to build a really lower power machine for WHS, I’ll be returning to just having one machine constantly running in my house.