Microsoft Cuts Home Server Price By 30 Percent

Last week, the Windows Home Server team announced the Home Server price cut and said it's geared toward helping system builders promote the software, which connects multiple PCs in the same household and stores, manages, backs up and protects digital audio, video and photos.

In a Monday blog post, Todd Headrick, marketing director for Windows Home Server, said Microsoft made the change in response to customer complaints about the price of Home Server, which previously sold in the $150 to $180 range.

Headrick noted that online retailer is selling the 32 bit OEM version of Windows Home Server for $99. is currently charging $111.24 for the same product, and Amazon has it listed at $149.00.

Todd Swank, vice president of marketing at Nor-Tech, a Burnsville, Minn.-based system builder, was surprised by the move, given Microsoft's history of sticking to its guns when it comes to price.

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Home Server continues to generate market interest, but the complexity involved in setting up the software has this far limited its appeal to tech-savvy users, according to Swank. "Everyone who uses Home Server loves it, but it just intimidates the hell out of home users," he said.

Microsoft released Home Server in September 2007 and launched a marketing campaign aimed at demonstrating its benefits for consumers, but in December, Microsoft scaled back these efforts after a nasty file corruption bug was discovered in the software.

After initially downplaying the issue and claiming the glitch was only related to a small number of applications that save data to Home Server, Microsoft later acknowledged that a wider group of applications -- including Excel and Windows Media Player 11, Photoshop Elements, Adobe Lightroom, Zune Software, Apple iTunes, Mozilla Thunderbird, and WinAmp -- could trigger the bug.

Microsoft eventually fixed the glitch in July. This move, along with the recent price cut and the evangelizing efforts of solution providers, could help Home Server finally begin to gain momentum in this new product segment.