Distributors Struggle To Meet Windows Home Server Demand

Late last week, Philip Churchill, a Microsoft beta tester and principal with the independent Microsoft Windows Home Server Web site, reported that TechData is charging $161 for Windows Home Server and offering a 5 percent discount for purchases of at least 5 copies.

However, Tech Data won't have Windows Home Server in stock until the end of October and is only expecting 50 copies at that time, according to Churchill. A Tech Data spokesperson declined to confirm the pricing information, citing company policy.

D&H, which is selling Windows Home Server for $159, received its first two shipments of Windows Home Server earlier this month, both of which quickly sold out.

Ingram Micro and Synnex didn't return calls seeking comment on pricing and availability.

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Released to manufacturing in July, Windows Home Server connects multiple PCs in the same household and stores, manages, backs up and protects digital audio, video and photos. The software also lets users access their digital content remotely and plays well with home automation and networking solutions.

"Initial demand for Windows Home Server has been higher than expected, so the authorized replicators of the product are playing catch up," said Michael Schwab, vice president of purchasing at D&H, Harrisburg, Pa.

"Now it's all about filling back orders. We'll be able to sense true demand once the initial flow into the channel subsides, which will probably take between 60 to 90 days," Schwab said.

D&H also plans on carrying the Hewlett Packard Media Smart Server, a plug and play solution that comes pre-installed with Windows Home Server and is slated to launch later this year, according to Schwab, who expects the offering to catch on in small businesses as well as homes.

Online retailers began selling Microsoft Windows Home Server earlier this month at prices ranging from $171 to $199, but many are already sold out.