Behind the Scenes at Development of the Windows NAS Hardware Platform

Following previous attempts to craft Windows into a value prosumer/SOHO/small business server platform (see Windows Home Server, Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials) Microsoft are again dipping a toe into the water with their latest effort, Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essentials.

Two hardware partners, NAS specialist Thecus and storage giant Seagate, have jumped on board this time around. The jury is still out on the results. I reviewed the Thecus W4000 NAS Server back in February and found the software platform to be excellent – simple to use, well featured but let down by underpowered hardware (a mis-step since corrected with the launch of an upgraded model).

Seagate launched their WSS NAS range last month, but declined to send hardware over to us for review. Hardware specifications are similar to the original Thecus W4000.

If you’re intrigued ny the prospect of a Windows Server NAS solution, the Microsoft TechNet blog today is running a “behind the scenes” interview with John Tsai, VP of Marketing at Thecus. He provides some light insight into the development of the W4000 hardware platform and reasons why the company has adopted the Windows Storage Server Essentials platform alongside their Linux NAS range. Here’s a snippet:

What can we expect from Thecus in the future? Can you tell us anything about how Windows Storage Server Essentials fits into your strategy and product roadmap?

We’re already looking at adding new value-added software utilities, which, of course, are easy to develop because they’ll run on Windows. Beyond that, we’re listening closely to initial customer feedback. For example, we recently added the option to upgrade the amount of RAM in their systems to 4 gigabytes.  This will allow users to get even more out of their Thecus NAS devices, all while maintaining optimal performance.

To read more, check out the full interview over at TechNet.

More: Microsoft TechNet



  1. Development my ass. Take a rusty N4200, remove the OLED display and its buttons – voila – you got an all new WSS. Then discover that 2GB are far from being adequate, so add another 2GB for 80 bucks more – there you got your brand new WSS+. These guys are real geniuses in hardware development…

  2. … and just like WHS it will fail in the prosumer market because the vendors are trying to extract enterprise level revenues from an incompatible price-sensitive market.
    With the HP Microserver at £99 in the UK … why would anyone entertain such a specialised device … when you can buy a general purpose machine for much less?
    Dedupliciation is not an issue in a home/prosumer setting.
    There is one offering which would exploit the benefits of Windows … which I will outline in your Windows 10 home server thread.

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