Amazon leaks price, date of Windows Home Server box

Systems set to ship Sept. 15, pricing starts at US$599

Details and prices of the first home server running Microsoft's Windows Home Server software were posted briefly on several online stores Monday. Systems are scheduled to ship Sept. 15 at prices starting at US$599 (AU$749).

According to listings on such e-tailing sites as Amazon.com, PCMall and onSale.com, Hewlett-Packard Co.'s MediaSmart Home Server will be sold in two models at prices of US$599 and US$749. The pair are identical with the exception of the amount of included storage: the US$599 server contains 500GB, while the US$759 unit offers 1TB.

Both servers will be powered by a 1.8GHz Sempron processor from Advanced Micro Devices Inc., and come bundled with HP's Photo Webshare software, an add-on to Windows Home Server (WHS) that builds a photo sharing Web site and serves it from the MediaSmart box. None of the for-sales listings spelled out the amount of memory in the servers, however.

HP declined to comment on the MediaSmart leaks.

Although some of the MediaSmart listings have been pulled, others remain online, if in truncated form. Amazon.com, for instance, still shows the servers but has removed the pricing it posted for a short time Monday.

The two servers are equipped with four drive bays for internal storage, and four USB 2.0 ports to connect additional external drivers. The 500GB model has only one bay filled, while the 1TB system fills two, indicating that HP is using 500GB drives.

Windows Home Server has been in the news of late -- users have reported that the software-only system builder edition is available in some countries -- but this is the first hint of pricing, configurations and delivery dates for a system from one of the OEMs which has committed to Home Server hardware.

Other manufacturers set on producing servers running Home Server include Fujitsu-Siemens Computers, Gateway, Iomega, LaCie and Medion. None have disclosed prices or set ship dates, however.

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Gregg Keizer

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