Microsoft Slashes the Price of Windows Home Server 2011

Looks like home server system builders are about to be very happy. News has just reached us that software distributors have just slashed the price of the Windows Home Server 2011 system builder software, in response to a similar price reduction from Microsoft.

CCL in the UK has reduced their price for the OS from £73.22 (inc VAT) to just £42.49 – that’s a 42% reduction. Over in the US, it looks like a similar story in some retailers. has Windows Home Server 2011 listed from $85.95, whilst other online retailers are listing the product for as little as $51 (Update: Now upped to $69.99 in a margin grabbing stylee).

From what our sources say, distributors have been told this is not promotional pricing – this is the new price for the product. If you’ve been thinking about building a new WHS 2011 server, now may be the time to jump in.

Thanks to Leonard for the tip.



  1. Just bought my version yesterday… Although even at 82.50 euro it is well worth the price!!! And if I remember correctly cheaper than v1

  2. This is probably the right pricepoint, considering the extra cash you will have to spend for the drive pooling add-in should you so desire.

    1. This, also considering that a home user will not see the same value in this as they will with the client operating system (which goes for not much more). This is more like an appliance once setup you don't need to ever use it again – in theory anyway.

  3. I am curious. I have the Acer 4 bay WHS (headless). Can this be loaded on it if I want to upgrade? It is 64bit.

    1. My favorite computer magazine published an article in issue #14 (c't 20 June 2011, in German, author Johannes Endres) describing how to migrate a v1 WHS to WHS 2011. It includes a picture with the subscript (translated from German): The often used Home Server Aspire Easystore H340 has enough hardware reserves to be able to also run Windows Home Server 2011." The website tells me that the Atom 230 supports Intel64, the Intel 64 bit architecture and instruction set. Based on these sources I ordered WHS 2011 (luckily for the lowered price). I have to start the migration though, so I have no personal experience. As a very long term reader of c't I have learned to trust their articles implicitly.

  4. Oddly enough I ordered mine from CCL on Weds (at the cheap price) – I didn't realise the price had only just come down. When I looked on Google there was a mix of retailers – some at the £40-£45 mark (CCL were the cheapest with free delivery), and some still at the £80 mark.

    Glad I didn't order any earlier!

  5. Sold! Thanks for the link to CCL.

    This is the correct price point for me. Having bought v1 at release for circa £90 I was a bit miffed to be asked to pay the same again for seemingly little benefit. (DE is of no interest to me either way).

    Cannot wait to test the WP7 app!

  6. IMO a smart move. OS pricing margins were killed by Apple a few weeks ago with their $29 USD pricing model. I don't see how Microsoft can ask $129 or $199 for Windows SKU's any more. I expect Windows 8 is likely to have a much lower retail, as well. Probably not $29, but hopefully fewer SKU's with consumer "family" pricing in the $79 range. $39–49 individual. If they can get it down to two SKU's (Home and Business), then I'll consider taking back a few of the zombie remarks I've made in the past regarding their marketing "people." 🙂

    On a side note, now I'll finally be able to attack Serviio WHS 2011.

    1. Really wishful thinking on the Windows 8 prices. Microsoft would have to have a ginormous pistol to their head to drop prices on their money maker to that low a level. I fully expect similar/higher pricing, likely very close to where Windows 7 is now. Apple can price their OS anywhere they want, it hasn't affected Windows prices past or present, don't see it changing that in the near future. I don't like the price of any OS from Microsoft, but I can't change it.

  7. Man I noticed this too. Ordered mine a month ago for 79 euro. 🙁 But as said even at that price it's well worth it, still a bit bummed that it came down so much though, with WHS v1 costing 129 euro over here till the very end.

    Oh and comparing a FULL windows version with a upgrade version for Apple is a bit far fetched (remember Lion can only be purchased online if you already have snow leapord!). Besides, you pay Apple through their hardware. Microsoft does not sell pc's. On the other hand, if MS would sell Windows 8 in the same price range, I wouldn't mind. This combined with some decent hardware could kill Apple. One can only hope. 🙂

    1. I totally agree with you, except for your last comment.

      I know we're going off topic here, but i WANT Apple to succeed! Heck, I want Apple and Microsoft to have the exact same share of the o/s market. THAT is how you'll get real progress and development of new and better products.

      You wouldn't want Microsoft to have a "monopoly" advantage on o/s's, would you? The Gov would come in and split the company up… wouldn't be the first time 😉

      1. Fair enough, I did get a little carried away there. I agree competition is mostly good for consumers. What I simply don't like about Apple is its ethics or rather lack thereof. I'd much rather have another competitor step in and take Apple's place and indeed push Microsoft towards innovation. But I guess that will forever be a pipe dream.

    2. I'm not personally comparing a FULL version of windows to an upgrade of OSX. But please know that most people will. For most folks, all operating system purchases are upgrades. They don't figure in the cost of the licenses in their PC purchase price. It has little perceived value add as it is just "part" of the PC. Also know that the fact that Apple has ridiculous margins to cover the lower cost of software makes absolutely no difference. They have devalued operating system software in the public eye. It is actually quite clever as it cuts at the core of Microsoft's revenue model without much impacting theirs.

      1. Agreed, but how many people actually buy Windows without a pc? There are those that do, mostly people who build their own pc's and they know how to get cheaper editions anyway (OEM, family pack, Technet …). I'd dare to say that it's less likely mac owners would buy a new mac if they want to upgrade as they have already paid a lot of money for their pc. So yes, $25 may seem like a steal and that's how they get you. Need a dvi connector? No problem, here's an adapter for $25. Want some extra software? Sure, iLife, just $25… Add all those up and you're quickly paying a lot of money for basic everyday stuff that could as well be offered for free considering…

        The good thing for microsoft is that the focus is (slowly?) shifting towards mobile devices such as tablets and pads that simply NEED an OS to work and so Microsoft can charge the OEM's more to make up for losses. Or they can simply charge licensing fees for other OS's they feel they own certain patents of. 😉

        1. Well, there are a lot of folks that do. The one big advantage here is – BLOATWARE free. Now, I have moved to the Apple ecosystem 2 years ago and I do like their revenue model. With every upgrade you get a rock solid BSOD free OS and you pick and choose the software you need and want for a reasonable price.
          Now is this the best since the invention of applepie? Of course not. But one thing really is more than just a marketing gimmick: Apple products simply work and do exactly what they are designed to do – nothing more nothing less.

  8. Beyond speculation of OS market pressure from Strange Fruit [read Apple], or some 11th hour sympathy handed down from Ballmer's Olympus for users questing for a hardware [RAID] or software DE replacement- is there any credible inkling as to why MS has decided to do this now?

  9. I'm just curious about how many people are actually buying the thing. Would Microsoft using this approach if the new version was flying off the shelves? Maybe Microsoft is only trying to tempt the people (such as myself) waiting to see if any of the Drive Extender replacements work out. Maybe Microsoft will change its tactics, but I'm going to wait.

  10. just checked (evening of 07/08 US/East and there are some prices in the 50s, however all of them add shipping of $12-20 and it ends up being a little over $70. Still a good price though.

      1. thanks.
        yeah, found the kadooli link as well after I posted. Unfotunately, superbiiz got greedy and increased their price back to $70. will keep checking and hit the buy button when I see a similar price again in the 50s

  11. Everybody will buy at the right pricing point. As I age, and have a steady income, I tend to buy more software. College year, didn't buy a dang thing but now I just want my stuff to work.

  12. Wouldn't this be a response to poor sales of this of software? Having pissed so many people off with the absence of certain features maybe sales are much lowerthan expected. Just a thought.

  13. Microsoft have got a track record for selling software cheap, if you know where to look. Having worked in the education sector, Microsoft are very generious towards students, schools and parents of students.

    For people in the UK who have children in UK schools, full or partime, check out Microsoft pretty much give their software away to UK students. I've worked in education so it's all legal, nothing dodgy, just great pricing. Office 2010 Pro £37, Win 7 Ultimate upgrade £59.

    I believe there are similar schemes in the US as well.

  14. Probably trying to get as much as a return as they can before the inevitable end of sale given that they've royally screwed up with WHS

  15. I have bought my whs 2011 version for 40 Euro incl. shipping this week and I am very happy about it.

  16. I have found a new friend: AMAHI. I would bet they have become the biggest thread to Microsoft on the home server market. They have all the features of V1 on a solid Linux foundation and more for let’s see: 0.

  17. Bought mine a few weeks ago from CCL, so paid the old price, around £70 (which I thought was not over priced), bit annoying, but thats the way things go.

    Hopefully this will get them flying off the shelve's, and Home Server will live on.

    I suspect some retailers will have old stock at old prices to clear, before they can drop to the new prices.

    I've still got an unopened copy of V1, which I must get around to selling, as I'm happy with V2.

  18. Well I’m glad to see the price reduction but it sucks for those of us that bought it upon release. I’m actually happy with the new version even without Drive Extender….backups are more stable than in v1.

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