Microsoft's long-awaited Windows Home Server may not be available via new home server hardware yet, but it is now available for less than $200 to those who like to install the software on their own machines. So-called OEM software versions of Windows Home Server are now available to enthusiasts from such US-based online retailers as Buy.com and Newegg.com. The software version is also available in Australia and New Zealand, according to reports, and will soon become available in Europe as well.
OEM software versions are supposed to be sold only to original equipment manufacturers, which for the Windows Home Server market are typically small systems builders. But Microsoft isn't actively preventing any individuals from purchasing the software, though it would prefer that typical consumers stick with a prebuilt Windows Home Server. Those machines are expected to sell for $500 and up in the weeks ahead.
Those looking for the software version of Windows Home Server should shop around. While Newegg.com is selling the product for $189.99, Buy.com is undercutting that price and selling it for $177.99. I will be reviewing Windows Home Server soon on the SuperSite for Windows, but I've already posted a number of screenshots of the installation and configuration experiences.