Apple’s AirPort Extreme vs. Microsoft’s Windows Home Server

Apple Store“In addition to its assault on Windows Server and Exchange in office workgroups, Apple has also quietly released a paralyzing attack on Microsoft’s future server plans for home users. Disguised as the new AirPort Extreme wireless base station, it adroitly blows Microsoft’s plans out of the water months before any can even ship,” Daniel Eran writes for RoughlyDrafted.

Eran writes, “At the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show in January, Microsoft unveiled its plans for Windows Home Server, a centralized storage box aimed at home users who have data to back up and media files to share among PCs.”

When Microsoft visualizes a solution to a problem, it’s always a PC running Windows:
• Xbox is a PC running Windows for games
• WinCE is a small PC running a small Windows
• WebTV, Ultimate TV and Windows XP Media Center were all PCs running Windows as a DVR

Eran writes, “Unsurprisingly, the new Windows Home Server is a PC running Windows, albeit a version of Windows Server. It also serves as Microsoft’s latest conceptual product introduction in a long line of embarrassing failures that are unleashed every year at the CES tradeshow.”

Eran writes, “In contrast, Apple has designed products that solve some of the same problems as the plans offered by Microsoft every year, but in original ways that just make more sense.

• iPod made no effort to capitalize on rental DRM subscriptions
• iPhone made no effort to duplicate Microsoft’s spectacular failure with WinCE / Windows Mobile
• Apple TV blazes a trail unlike the unwieldy, expensive Media Center PC.

Eran writes, “In a similar fashion, the new AirPort Extreme delivers the idea behind Windows Home Server in a unique and different way that simply makes a lot more sense.”

Full article here.

Related articles:
Hands-on with Apple’s superspeedy 802.11n AirPort Extreme Base Station – February 19, 2007
Apple’s new AirPort Extreme offers increased speed and range – February 18, 2007
High-quality Apple AirPort Extreme 802.11n unboxing photos – February 04, 2007
Apple ships new Airport Extreme Base Stations two weeks early – February 01, 2007
Apple AirPort Utility 1.0 screenshots, 802.11n AirPort Extreme Base Station manuals – January 26, 2007
Apple releases AirPort Extreme Update 2007-001 – January 26, 2007
Apple’s new AirPort Extreme ‘AirPort Disk’ feature: cheap, simple network storage for home networks – January 15, 2007
Apple’s new AirPort Extreme supports 802.11n, enables wireless streaming of HD media – January 10, 2007
Apple introduces new AirPort Extreme with 802.11n – January 09, 2007
Do you have an Apple packaging fetish, too? – September 15, 2005


  1. I have no doubt that at some point in the future everything in a house will computerized to some degree, everything will be networked, there will be a server of some sort were your data is stored or at least distributed or something of that nature. To me it seems that Microfost want to just plug full computers into everything regardless of whether it really suits the purpose or if the technology is really ready both in terms of what they can make and in terms of what the public are ready to use. Apple, whilst not perfect seem so turned on in terms of their overall progression of products. They’re making constant improvements across the board, adding new features and adding new devices that complement existing products in a way that makes sense. In scope obviously an airport express is not strictly comparable to home server but in terms of practicality and what a large number of people are gonna be ready to use it makes more sense. Rather than buying another computer to manage stuff you can buy a device to augment and work with what you’ve got.

  2. What in the world is unique and different in the new Airport Extreme?

    Let’s face it, it is a high quality wireless “n” router. Comperable products have been on the market for literally years.

    Give Apple kudos for making the software more intuitive this time around, but there there are still many features in this relatively crowded space that apple fails to deliver on, whereas their competitors (not microsoft) have had them in place for years.

    Specific examples include support for dynamic DNS services, VPN integration, QoS features.

    Let’s not pretend that a network router is anything more than a commodity applicance at the end of the day.

    I believe I have less flattering comments for MS Home Server, but I’ll save those for another day…. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  3. Ok, let’s not compare these two products. Microsoft Windows Home Server (or whatever the name) does much much more than Airport Extreme.

    for example, it’s a full computer allowing an infinite (theoretically) number of USB drives. Also, it allows for internal drives.

    And lastly, it gives me the ability to pipe through to my home PCs and files when I’m on the go (granted I had windows). Please, this guy is making something else out of Airport. Give me a comparison feature by feature and WHS will have much more features than the AP.


  4. I like sense. Sense makes sense which makes more sense until you get a lot of little senses. Kind of like roots…only not roots.
    Nonsense on the other hand is the offspring of parents with psycotic episodes…….like when you think your the box office
    toad in your own life movie and the script requires you throw a chair at your co-stars if they start to make a little sense
    because you’re all about nonsense and you can’t afford to be undermined by costars.

    I like sense because it doesn’t throw chairs….it may throw up but so what if it’s just a little thing you’ve got to do
    before you get your big epiphany. The trouble with Redmond is that noone there’s ever even got a little nauseous….kind of
    like the guy whos brains were being stirred by Hannibal but kept smiling anyway. Sense is nauseous in Cupertino and that’s
    a good thing.

  5. Finally somebody understands what was evident as this Airport was introduced.

    Granted, Windows Home Server will have more features. But this delivers today what home users need: fast wlan, printer and HD sharing. And you can set it up with ease.

  6. These rally are not directly comparable products … not on the surface. Starting with the price … well, $200 vs $1,000? Oh, and the Mac item is the one with only three digits! Then there’s the built-in HDs. Or not. And the built-in OS, or not!
    The Apple hardware offers less capability for much less money. It is more like Cisco’s now-entry-level LinkSys 5-port-with-Wi-Fi than MS’s big-box server. So … why compare them? Well, because they are targeting the same consumers? Apple is targeting its usual top-of-the-line consumer while MS is trying to grab the bottom of the Pro family – and these are much the same buyers!

    I want my “home server” to include an HD of its own – to provide a modest amount of “NAS” to be shared.
    I want my “home server” to offer several powered USB 2.0 ports.
    I want my “home server” to offer several FireWire 400 and 800 ports.
    I want my “home server” to include 4 Giga-Ethernet ports as well as “N”.
    I want my “home server” to run a minimal OSX to support Apache for Firewall, E-Mail, etc.

    Other than the internal HD and the FireWire, it’s already there.

    DLMeyer – the Voice of G.L.Horton’s Stage Page

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