Letters to Redmond

Not at Home with Windows Home Server

Plus, readers weigh in on our list of 2008's hottest certifications.

Regarding Mary Jo Foley's August 2007 column ("Microsoft's iPhone?") I'm really curious where Microsoft thinks they're going with Windows Home Server (WHS). I mean, do they really think they're going to enable everything in ASUS gear for less than $200? I'm pretty sure they aren't going to be able to do that.

So, what do they bring to the table? Maybe digital rights management (DRM) and proprietary formats. This sounds more like something they would sell to content providers rather than content users (who certainly don't want DRM, as they obviously don't care about proprietary formats yet). Maybe it's another run at the "set-top box"?

I suppose they could sell this on the basis that it's a home server for people that don't know much about networking. My ASUS box was pretty simple to set up, but I also know to change the default SSID and enable encryption on my wireless router, so that puts me way ahead technically of most people. (I have a friend whose exact words were "I have wireless?" Yes, and it's wide open and unencrypted.) Maybe this is being targeted.

Still, someone is going to have to know where to plug the cable. I guess my point is, if you know about the concept of servers, you will be beyond WHS from the get-go. Just buy a NAS and be done with it.
Hans Fairchild
Paso Robles, Calif.

I enjoyed Foley's article about WHS. I have a question, though, with Windows Server 2003 and the like: You create a domain and then on the desktop PC you go into the Control Panel, click on "System" and then "Computer Name" to add the PC to the domain. However, Windows XP Home Edition andWindows Vista Home Standard and Home Premium don't have the ability to connect to a domain. My question is: How would one connect to WHS? Do you have to have XP Professional or a version of Vista other than the Home versions?

If so, I can't see a home user spending the money to upgrade their desktops and then buying WHS. Perhaps WHS has an upgrade that you run on the Home versions to give them the ability to connect to WHS.

Can you imagine the uproar from users of any of the Windows Home versions should they buy WHS only to find out that they can't use it because their version of Windows won't connect to it?
Neil Ragone
Titusville, Fla.

Hot Debate Over Certs
One more thought about the value of a cert [see "Redmond's Top 10 Hot Certs for 2008" (September 2007)]: There's a huge spectrum of topics to consider when trying to become a valuable developer. What do you focus on first? Certs can provide a useful syllabus for organizing and directing your self-study as well as a barometer for judging progress. Leverage the "Skills Being Measured" section from the Preparation Guide for each Microsoft cert by using it to keep track of the vast amount of vocab, notes and code that you'll gather while studying. Properly harvested, these breadcrumbs can then be presented to potential new employers as real and detailed evidence of what you have done and can do.
Greg Pugh
Research Triangle Park, N.C.

Where's VMware Certified Professional (VCP)? You're telling me -- with all the talk about virtualization -- that VCP isn't even listed? While I understand that this magazine is Microsoft-centric, if you're going to include CCNP then you should also include VCP. Like it or not, VMware is here to stay and Microsoft has no comparable product to VMware Infrastructure 3-yet.
Doug Smith
Upstate New York

As for Microsoft Certs, you missed some that are hard to get and very valuable: the Microsoft Dynamics Certifications for Dynamics GP and Dynamics CRM or Dynamics AX.
Curt Spanburgh
San Diego, Calif.

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This page is compiled by the editors of Redmond magazine from your letters. Write to us at letters@redmondmag.com and if your letter is printed in the magazine, you'll be entered into a drawing for a free Redmond T-shirt.

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