HP Launches MediaSmart Home Server for Mac and PC
Technology giant Hewlett-Packard is looking to
take a bigger bite out of Apple's ever-expanding market share by offering Mac
users home server compatibility. With the launch of MediaSmart Windows, HP
announced, home servers will now be able to automatically back up Macs running
the Leopard operating system using Apple Time Machine software.
While HP's MediaSmart servers are based on Microsoft Windows Home Server, the growing prevalence of households containing both a PC and a Mac has led to increased demand for home server systems that can function flawlessly with both. The HP MediaSmart Server line, comprising the ex485 and ex487, offers a central repository for automatically backup and access to digital music, videos, photos and documents from multiple computers on a home network.
HP also announced that these MediaSmart servers will be compatible with Apple's iTunes music program, allowing users to centralize iTunes music libraries on the server for playback. The servers offer online backup protection duplicating designated folders in the Amazon S3 (Amazon Simple Storage Service) online backup service, and can be expanded to hold up to 9TB of storage. The servers feature an Intel Celeron 2GHz 64-bit CPU and 2GB of 800MHz DDR2 (double data rate 2) RAM.
"A growing number of digital-savvy households have both Windows and Mac computers, with hundreds and sometimes thousands of media files and documents scattered across these devices," said Jason Zajac, vice president of strategy for HP's worldwide attach group. "The HP MediaSmart Server protects, stores and organizes this content from anywhere on a network so consumers can access and share it any place they are connected."
The MediaSmart Server is also able to automatically organize files across all PCs, stream media across a home network and the Internet (via a wired/wireless router), and publish photos on social networking and photo sharing sites. HP said the MediaSmart Server ex485 and ex487 will become available for order beginning Jan. 5, 2009, with a suggested retail price for the 750GB ex485 ringing in at $599, while the 1.5TB ex487 will retail for $749. The servers are expected to begin shipping in February.
Microsoft's general manager of Windows Server Solutions, Charlie Kindel, praised HP for giving more consumers the option of storing their media and memories in one place. "We believe consumers will embrace the new MediaSmart Server as one of the most exciting computing products for the home," Kindel said in a statement.
HP has been working with Microsoft for more than a year now on refining the hardware for Windows Home Server. The company began taking orders for its first MediaSmart servers in November 2007, becoming the first major manufacturer to offer home server hardware based on Windows Home Server software.