Functionality Wishlist for Windows Home Server

In my last post, I talked about how third parties are likely to be the ones to make or break Windows Home Server in the marketplace.  Here’s a few ideas that I’m hoping someone will bring to the table when WHS is released:

  • Family Sharing – Basically, I’d like to select certain folders on the server, and designate them to be replicated to my extended family.  Hopefully they’ll all have Home Server machines as well, and now if I drop some home movies or photos into that bucket, they’d be automatically synced.  Likewise they could add stuff as well.  This can be set up today with Foldershare, but it needs to be simple and available through the WHS console.
  • Security Monitoring and Automation – This is one that I think will probably get addressed at least a couple different ways.  If I’m away from the house, I’d love to be able to remotely access my security system.  Maybe flip a couple lights on/off. Remotely access security cameras.  Turn the thermostat back up so the house isn’t too cold when I return.
  • Offsite backup – I’d like to see this addressed two different ways.  One would be a web-based service where I could pay for a certain amount of space on a monthly basis.  Another way that I think would be awesome is if I could designate a remote WHS machine (maybe at my brother’s house) as my remote backup point.  I could just buy a 500GB USB hard drive, he could plug it in to his machine and designate it for remote backups, or perhaps he could just have an easy way to set a quota for my remote backups, and it would make use of the storage pool that WHS manages.
  • Amazon UnBox or similar clients – Let me browse and buy from the server, either from the remote web interface or the console, and then let me watch the content on any media extenders in my home.  I could schedule the download remotely early in the day, and then it would be ready to watch on whatever TV was free in the evening (assuming it had a media extender attached.)
  • Family Schedule – This is getting into the email/pim realm a bit, and I know that story isn’t fully addressed, but a centralized shared calendar view would be cool.  Let me sync any type of calendar to the Home Server, Live Hotmail, Google Calendar, Outlook, whatever.  Somehow make the calendar viewable on media extenders, or on home PCs in an easy, quick way.

What other unfullfilled needs are out there waiting to be addressed?

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One thought on “Functionality Wishlist for Windows Home Server

  1. Let me keep entire User accounts in sync (e-mail, documents, RSS, favourites, even passwords.) across multiple computers.
    eg. UserA on laptop and UserA on desktop: homeserver sees two UserAs and gives the option of keeping them in sync.
    So… Active Directory Lite, in other words.

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