The API and developer tools allow outside developers to create applications for the platform. The software itself is currently in the beta 2 stage and the first devices are scheduled to start shipping in the third quarter of this year. The server is expected to cost between $500 and $1,000.
The APIs allow software that is running on the server appliance to access client computers, shared folders, application folders managed volumes, hard disks, backup tasks and notifications. Developers will also be able to add tabs to the management console of the Home Server management software to allow users to control third party applications.
First unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last January, the Windows Home Server allows consumers to back up data from multiple systems and provides access to data over a home network as well as over the internet.
The Windows Home Server software is an adapted version of Windows Server 2003. It is designed to run on a dedicated device featuring multiple hard drives, but without a keyboard or monitor. Users manage the device over a network connection using a special management screen from their Windows client.
While the first version of the software will focus on backup, Microsoft has previously said that it expects the device to run additional applications in the home automation and home security space. Anti-virus vendors too are likely to bring out versions of their security suites to protect the home servers.
- A video demonstration of the Windows Home Server software and hardware reference de signs is available on vnunet.com's CES Blog
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