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HP dumps Microsoft's Vail Home Server 'to focus on webOS'

'Drive feature kill just a coincidence' insists Redmond

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

HP has ditched Microsoft’s Windows Home Server operating system, codenamed ‘Vail’, just days after the software giant killed a popular feature in the product.

However, Microsoft insists that HP’s decision to retire its MediaSmart Server line, which includes Windows Home Server in the line-up, had nothing to do with Microsoft’s plan to remove its popular Drive Extender feature from Vail.

“HP has told us they do not plan to provide a platform for Windows Home Server code name ‘Vail’. HP has told us they will continue to sell the existing version of MediaSmart Server through the end of the calendar year 2010 and will honour service and support agreements,” said Microsoft in a blog post yesterday.

“This news is in no way related to recent announcements about feature changes in Windows Home Server ‘Vail.’”

Microsoft confirmed last week that it would dump the Drive Extender feature from Vail, even though it has tested it in the most recent beta version of the product.

Drive Extender supports multiple internal and external hard drives in the home server edition of Windows, and Microsoft’s decision to axe the feature led to complaints aplenty from customers.

MS will spin out a new beta of Vail – minus its Drive Extender tech – early next year. The final code won’t be released, meanwhile, until the first half of 2011.

HP has probably mulled for some time over its decision to walk away from Microsoft’s MediaSmart Server product line-up.

According to MediaSmartServer.net, which quotes HP marketing manager Allen Buckner, the move away from Vail was due to “shifting additional resources to focus on webOS initiatives”.

All of which has got to hurt Microsoft, which already took a sizeable bruising from customers following its decision to kill the Drive Extender feature.

But then, as the Steve Ballmer-led company reminded us, it still has Acer and, er, Tranquil on board the not-so-good-ship Vail. ®

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