This is one of those things I’m going to have to face soon myself, but it’s happening already to the Home Server MVPs.  Effective in little less than a year on April 1, 2014,  they will be asked to transition to another MVP group because the Home Server MVP category will be shut down. 

May I say that while I expected this, I’m very saddened to see this occur.  I know of no other MVP group that tried so hard, fought the good fight, believed so much in the concept of a Home Server and the product they representated.  I still remember many many years ago that Nick (the naked MVP) Whittome sat in a conference room in Redmond and said “My clients want a home server” and the Microsoft executive at the front of the room turned his head towards Nick and asked him “really?  why?” as Nick laid out the reasons for why his clients wanted to stream music, share files, share tvshows, share music, and do all sorts of media things with a Home server.  Later on the next day I was sitting in the Seattle airport ready to head home when I spotted an article from Paul Thurrott about a new server project called “Quattro” and I thought to myself “dang, they ARE working on it”   This article recaps a bit of the history but it isnt’ that original article that he wrote, nor the one that I remember, but it is a reminder of how long ago the project started.

Along with a product comes the necessary geek love and Home Server grew it’s own special geek love.  I still remember being a geek booth babe for the Windows Server category for TechEd a few years back and the Home Server booth got tons more attendees than the Essential Business Server booth that it shared space with.

The marketing of it faced an uphill battle.  As an OEM-ish product it depended on the marketing of the vendors.  It got more buzz from unique “Mommy” books (that as an aside are now going for $5 on ebay, I should buy one and get Grey Lancaster to autograph it, but I digress) that talked about it’s unique place in a Home. 

It’s community built more third party code than SBS 2003, 2008, 2011 standard or Essentials or even Windows 2012 Essentials combined.  You wanted a thing to do that on your server?  Wait a few days and there would be a plug in. 

Oh sure you can point to the cloud and say “Susan that’s the future”.  But as a person who has a few gigs and more of BBC Gardening video recordings on my home server, I don’t want to pay the price tag of cloud storage.  What Home Server orginally did, it nicely did and very cheaply did and I’m not convinced that a cloud service can compare.  Certainly not be as reasonable of a price tag for sure.

So to the current 25 Home Server MVPs (and lots more that preceded them) that had more passion for any other product that Microsoft has ever released, I salute you all.  You have been professional in the face of bad community announcements.  You represented your community graciously and gave a voice to all those who used the product.  You shined in representing your community, you shined in communicating to your community, you shined in building a community.

Olaf Engelke: Windows Home Server: Systems Administration
Since 1999 I am Microsoft MVP (started with Windows NT server, later Windows Server). In January 2009 I was awarded as MVP for Windows Home Server. I’m working in the IT depa…
Grey Lancaster: Windows Home Server
Grey Lancaster is an amazing Southern Gentleman who has been involved with SBS and community since 1997. Grey began his computing life in 1973 writing basic programs on a tele…
Ken Warren: Windows Home Server: Development
Ken has been using, and programming, computers for many years. He’s used Windows since it’s inception as a desktop operating system in 1990, and has worked hard to keep up with…
Terry Walsh: Windows Home Server
Hello! I’ve been awarded the Microsoft MVP Award for Windows Home Server each year since 2007, thanks to We Got Served, a digital home website that I founded in February of tha…
Andrew Edney: Windows Home Server
Im an IT Consultant and have been doing this now for over 13 years. I have been involved in various beta programs over the years, including Media Center and Windows Home Server…
Woody Leonhard: Windows Home Server
. Computer book author Senior Contributing Editor, InfoWorld Senior Editor, Windows Secrets Newsletter Columnist, Phuket Gazette Past President, Rotary Club of P…
Philip Churchill: Windows Home Server
Hi, I’m an IT Tech from Kent in the UK and have recommended and installed Windows Home Server since it’s beginning’s in 2007. I run the site which provide…
Yoshihiro Okabe: Windows Home Server
I am a server administrator that specializes in Windows server product in Tokyo, Japan and have been doing this mostly home-based besides professional work. I’ve been updating…
Alan Ball: Windows Home Server
I currently maintain all of the servers and clients (both hardware and software) in the local branch office of a recovery audit firm. I recently received a promotion and I now…
Los Angeles|CA|United States
Henk Panneman: Windows Home Server
I have been working with computers from the time where a console really was a console. I have worked with a variety of Operating Systems ranging from UNIX, MS-DOS, OS2, most Wi…
Sam Wood: Windows Home Server
I’m a development and technical consultant based in Auckland, New Zealand. Curator of Disk Management and Tentacle Software.
Auckland||New Zealand
Alex Kuretz: Windows Home Server: Testing
I’m Alex Kuretz, and I’m the founder of I was the Lead Test and Integration Engineer at HP for the MediaSmart Server until April 2008 when I moved on to o…
Martin Rothschink: Windows Home Server: R & D
It all started thirty years ago at school. At that time I got my hands on an Apple II. Since then computers attended both my private and professional live. After studies I work…
Kirchheim Unter Teck||Germany
Jim Clark: Windows Home Server
Hello. My day job is a mechanical engineer for a manufacturer of capital equipment in the pharmaceutical industry. One of my functions there is to administrate our Unigraphic…
Alexander Köplinger: Windows Home Server: Development
Hi! Computers and their various capabilities have always fascinated me, so I was immediately convinced of the benefits of a home server when I first read about it. I’ve use…
David McCabe: Windows Home Server: Networking
David publishes the Home Server Show podcast and blog at This podcast specializes in Windows Home Server and is catered to the everyday user as well…
Nigel Wilks: Windows Home Server: Architecture
I’m a Technical Architect based in the UK predominantly working on Windows Server and Active Directory based solutions. I started using Windows Home Server in December 2007
Masahiko Sada: Windows Home Server
In the Home Server forum in Japan, I’m usually privately acting as a moderator though I’m businessman who works in the mobile-phone industry.
Nick Asseloos: Windows Home Server
I live in Belgium and have 2 fantastic children. As a job I am Software Developer In Test working on GUI test automation for healthcare applications in a large multinational…
Sébastien TOUSSAINT: Windows Home Server
Hello! I’m French and blogging since 2008 about Windows Home Server on This blog is one of the most important French information sources for “F…


John Zajdler: Windows Home Server
Naomichi Kanawa: Windows Home Server
I am system administrator in Japanese ISP. It enjoys Windows Home Server by the hobby. I act this happiness is told by a lot of people around the community.
Tom Ziegmann: Windows Home Server: Systems Administration
Tom is the founder of Computers Simplified, LLC, a Phoenix-based information technology consulting firm that caters primarily to home and small businesses. During the summer…
Jim Collison: Windows Home Server
Satoru Nasu: Windows Home Server: Systems Administration


Additional kudos go to those that transitioned on before…

Christopher Courtney

Colin Hodgson

(P.S. I know there are lots of others and I don’t have the links handy, forgive me for forgetting names and urls as all of you that were WHS MVPs really raised the bar on community for the rest of us)

4 Thoughts on “End of an era

  1. There are a bunch more ex-MVPs that should be listed here, myself included.

    And it is indeed sad to see this day finally come to pass. Though WHS will never die! (if only in our hearts!)

  2. bradley on April 17, 2013 at 11:50 pm said:

    I just added you Christopher and my apologies for only listing the current crop.

  3. Colin Hodgson on April 18, 2013 at 2:58 am said:

    As a previous WHS MVP, (who only left when my partner passed away,) your comments reflect the enthusiasm that brought me into WHS and it’s community in the first place. Even now, there is nothing that can quite replace a WHS box which just sits there and ‘does it’s thing’ day in and day out.
    Large areas of the World either cannot access or can’t afford the latest buzz of cloud storage and there is no other product that comes even close plus, no-one seems to realise just what a large market are being arbitrarily dismissed.

  4. Joe Raby on April 19, 2013 at 9:16 am said:

    You have to think that there are still many others inside Microsoft thinking “deal with it”, just like the Xbox employee that left (or was forced to leave due to the bad PR) because they just have this utopic vision that everyone has high-speed, reliable connections with unlimited bandwidth, and are ignorant of the facts of reality.

    I say let them put their money where their mouth is and stop charging for bandwidth/transit fees on Azure, and see how well that flies.

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