As part of his keynote address Sunday at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, Gates is showing off Windows Home Server--a consumer device to serve as a central storage place for digital photos, music and other media. The first products are due out later this year from Hewlett-Packard and others. The goal is to get devices that can cost less than $500.
In the first of a two-part interview, Microsoft's chairman talks with CNET News.com about why the average person wants a server, why they won't need a degree in computer science to run it and what hurdles remain before consumers reach the true digital home.
Coming Monday, in part two, Gates talks about the changes that are coming with Windows Vista, the legacy of Windows XP and what he has planned for the next makeover of his own digital living room.
Q: One of the things you are talking about at CES is a new home server? Why does the average home need a server?
Gates: If you have got multiple PCs, then you want files that are available all the time no matter which PCs are turned on or off, and you'd also like to have a server that when you just add just add storage it automatically takes advantage of that. You don't have to think about drive names or moving files around
In fact you get redundancy so that even if you have physical failures you have recoverability.