Gates also announced Gateway, LaCie and Medion – in addition to HP – as new hardware manufacturer partners for its Windows Home Server coming later this year, but also smaller computer makers, known as system builders, will be able to build products based on Windows Home Server. Microsoft is moving towards positioning its product as a central repository for digital content such as documents, photos, movies and music.
Gates also touted the rise of networked homes – 4 million have more than one PC, Gates said – stating that the simplicity of setup from its "Windows Rally" technology had improved the user experience.
Gates said that Microsoft would encourge that a new technology, called "Pica", to be installed into HDTVs and other displays, to facilitate their setup into a home network. Using an 802.11n router from D-Link optimized for HDTV, Microsoft executives set up and played an HDTV vide file from a NAS box.
Also confirmed by Gates is the release of Microsoft’s Windows Server 2008 due to be finalized in the second half of 2007.