FLOGGER OF EXPENSIVE PRINTER INK HP has pulled out of the Windows Home Server (WHS) market.
Its Mediasmart boxes had been faring well, offering a relatively well priced option to those who wanted a bit more than a basic network attached storage (NAS) box, but no longer. HP announced that it will stop developing products that run WHS, and will just sell off existing inventory and honour warranties.
The firm revealed that the Mediasmart development team has been disbanded and redeployed to other projects, including WebOS related projects.
Microsoft recently announced it will drop drive extender, a key feature of WHS, in its upcoming WHS 'Vail' release. That announcement was greeted with near universal consternation and now it seems that HP has dropped Microsoft.
HP recently signed an agreement to sell Data Robotics' well marketed but overpriced Drobo NAS box through its direct sales website. This tends to suggest that instead of using resources to produce its own consumer storage products, HP will be reselling other manufacturers' products in that market.
HP apparently is also redirecting its software development resources to embrace WebOS and will be working to get some truly interesting products out the door.
For Microsoft, HP's announcement is likely to be a bitter blow as it readies the launch of its next version of WHS with a least one less feature. Although it has other partners, HP's extensive retail channel provided a significant showcase for WHS.
This shows that OEMs are starting to join customers in shunning the Vole's operating systems and repetitive churn marketing model for extracting large amounts of cash into its coffers. µ