WHS 2011 Price Cuts – Will you make the move?

by ZimTommy on July 21, 2011 · 31 comments

in News

I’ve personally been umming and ahhing for a while now on if I should make the move to WHS 2011 or stick with my trusty WHS v1 for a little while longer.  But with the recent round of price cuts on the OEM price of WHS 2011 this has made my decision even harder.  Newegg.com are currently listing WHS 2011 at a rock bottom price of US$69.99 with free shipping which is a pretty tempting deal!  Amazon are even listing for just US$56.47.

There’s a lot of speculation out there as to why the sudden price cuts so soon after the actual release of the product.  Is it because of the large amount of negative feedback on the dropping of DE and maybe this eases the burden of having to pay extra for a DE type addin.  Or could we be looking at a final attempt to get some traction before a possible demise of the product all together?

Now I’m not privy to any secret info so am just wondering out loud here…. What do you think?  At this sort of price are you tempted to take the plunge even if it’s just to try the software out for a while?  I know I am…….

Article by

Hi there, I'm Tommy and I've been messing around with PCs and electronics since before I can remember. I had been running my own WHS "frankenserver" for a good few years before I picked up an ex490 on super special after HP has discontinued them and that's, in turn, how I found this little community of fellow enthusiasts.


John Zajdler July 21, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I would say stick with your WHS v1 over the next couple months until things settle down. The expected price is around $125, now if you can get it for $60 that’s great, you feel you got a good deal. However, if you bought WHS2011 at $60 and then 2 months later, the product is dropped, will you feel the same way ?

Steve Heller July 21, 2011 at 5:07 pm

I just bought an HP ML110 G6 to run WHS 2011 on, but I am not going to get rid of my EX470 until drive pool is out of beta. The price difference was definitely an incentive to take the plunge but I don’t see the product being cut. Windows 7 has taken some huge price cuts compared to previous versions, just look at the price drop in the family 3-pack that ended up being permanent. I think this is just a sign of the current pricing structure for microsoft.

PatrickGreene July 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm

I just got my HP ML110 G6 today. I guess I’m not the only one who liked this server. I have WHS 11, however, while I wait for the memory upgrade from Newegg to arrive I will decide which way I go.

brian August 18, 2011 at 8:55 pm

I have a proliant ml110 g6… just got 4gb of crucial ram to meet the 2011 requirements… now it won’t install.. just hangs on ‘finishing installation’ and then says ‘cannot find a network’. It shows in the device manager, the cable is good.. nic shows lights and ‘activity’.. just won’t connect. Tried reinstalling after the latest bios and updates.. still no luck.

Jesse F. July 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm

I bought 2011 when newegg briefly had it for $50. I don’t plan on installing it yet but i figured $50 was low enough where if for some reason they dropped the product i wouldn’t feel too broken up about it. I’m waiting for 3TB drives to become more prevalent and cheaper before i do a new home server build.

Scott July 21, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Well I’m on the other side of the fence. I purchased WHS2011 and built a server a month before the price drop. DOH!!!

Comp1962 July 21, 2011 at 9:09 pm

I would think that if MS were about to drop WHS2011 then you would see those OEM’s making WHS2011 to start discontinuing thier products and develope other solutions to build and sell.

I am still a happy WHS v1 user. I did build a new WHS2011 server and am enjoying it very much but not so much because its WHS2011 but because of the fine work Stablebit is doing and the promise it showing. Without the promise of Stablebit I probably would not have invested funds at this time in WHS2011.

Brajesh July 22, 2011 at 8:29 am

Sticking with v1. Don’t see any benefits of going to 2011, unless I’m missing something.

varun July 22, 2011 at 9:15 am

Don’t you mean, down to $56.47+ at least $25 = $81ish? The simple fact is that in order to restore Vail functionality to Quattro levels requires additional software or hardware. You have to factor in the price of this into your Vail purchase.

Comp1962 July 22, 2011 at 9:32 am

Thats basically understood as is the cost of the hardware toys to run the OS. Still once the DE replacement software is out I firmly believe WHS2011 will be worth using and at the current price its all good and with the additional software cost it should still be under $100. WHS v1 is also a good value. I did build 2 WHS2011 Servers both running Stablebit and at this time I can tell you the combination of the two make WHS2011 more user friendly then WHSv1. However at this time Stablebit does slow down the performance of file transfers which should be corrected in either M3 or M4 and when thats done along with full integration into WHS2011 then it will make WHS2011 truely shine.

Steve Balmer July 22, 2011 at 11:15 am

Let Vail go, it never even got out of beta, we did. Move forward.

John B. July 22, 2011 at 10:24 pm

I agree and well said.

On topic … I doubt that a temp price cut of $20 would be the primary trigger for most people to convert and is not a good reason anyway. I suspect that many intended to migrate at some point and wanted to get in on the sale.

Chook September 10, 2011 at 6:15 pm

You are 100% correct. Price was not a factor to migrate. When I compared Windows Home Server with Windows 7, there wasn’t anything WHS was able to do extra.

I currently have Win7 running on a Home Theater PC ‘acting’ as a server. It didn’t make any sense having a HTPC running 24/7 with TV scheduling, Fax & Phone Answering machine, Weather Station, Home Power Usage, My Pictures, My Documents, and My Music all accessable remotely on the internet.
The other features WHS offers are supported by some extremely good free apps such as Remote Potato.

One other benefit of staying with Win7 is Driver Compatibly. The Weather Station USB to RS232 drivers for WHS aren’t available nor do any other versions work.

Anthony July 22, 2011 at 12:36 pm

I’m not sure you can come to the wild-eyed conclusion that MS would be dropping Home Server because of MAYBE poor sales which haven’t been released yet I don’t think. Have you ever thought it might be a ploy to increase adoption?

NAS, I think people are finding are very limited in what they can do. If you run Windows Media Center which many of us do, then WHS, any verison 2011 or with Power Pack 2/3 is a no brainer and why I keep coming back to it. Though I could opt for a NAS which would be affordable since I already have a 2TB hard drive waiting to be installed into either a NAS or Server.

I just have limited funds and a nagging health problem has left unable to earn income the way I was earning it. So with a budget of less than $200, I have to figure how I’m going to afford to build a server.

I already downloaded 2008 R2 and was planning to run that in a home rolled server and would allow me 90 days to save for the final price.

With 2011 being only $66 at Tigerdirect, it would make sense to buy it outright if you have the funds.

The Kitty July 22, 2011 at 5:31 pm

I pulled the trigger at $60 (would have been $50 if I waited a week) – I’ll be converting my beta server to a WHS 2011 box this weekend to stay out of the heat.

I’ll be trying to see if I can slowly move the EX485 use to the new box with some sort of redundant storage – now that would be a cool add-in.

Rhinoevans July 22, 2011 at 10:54 pm

i bought at newegg for $59

Eidos July 23, 2011 at 6:38 am

I brought a second copy at $50 from Newegg. I already had a WHS2011 and like it better than WHS v1. I still also own two HP servers and they are working fine but WHS 2011 is more stable, faster (a lot faster!) and easy to use.

Kevin July 23, 2011 at 7:32 am

Mute point with my anticipated cost of about $1,000 to replace the amount of disk space I need (12-15 TB) by buying new HDD’s to set up a RAID to maintain my preferred single storage pool [without drive extender]… and regarding software solutions, sorry, I just want to wait before putting my trust in them.

Even if they give V2 away for FREE, it’s not going to make sense for ‘me’ for a long time.

For now, “If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it”. Give me a year and I’ll consider it.

Seth July 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm

I jumped at Newegg’s price of $49.99. I, too, have a WHS v1 machine with about 12TB of drive space in it that I won’t touch until WHS v2 has a viable DE replacement. That being said, I’m running WHS v2 on another machine because it’s WAY better for machine backups than WHS v1 (I’ve lost count at this point how many problems I’ve had with the WHS v1 backup database).

John L July 26, 2011 at 6:04 pm

I brought mine at Newegg for $50. I plan to move on with WHS 2011. I have the first of HP homeserver EX475. It is slow so it is time to upgrade. Just need to buy the HP Proliant ML110. Should be on WHS 2011 in about within the next 60 days. DE is nice and it is not a deal breaker for me. I do understand why people are furious with Microsoft, they just don’t seem to understand the target market.

Gordon Currie July 27, 2011 at 12:31 pm

The OS is the least expensive item for me. So the price cuts are not even a factor.

I have little interest in a self-build as I’m interested in low power consumption, something I think is beyond most self-builders.

Here in the US, there are NO shipping WHS 2011 servers yet.

Finally, I require DE-like functionality, so I cannot move until the various add-ins are shipping and tested in the market.

I figure it will be January 2012 for me.

Kobi July 29, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I saw the reference to the reduced price, then did a lookup and found a Newegg discount code for another $10 off. I paid $50. I planned on buying Drive Bender to replace the loss of DE, but the combined higher price kept me on the sideline. No longer. Already downloaded AWIECO’s Drive Info in anticipation….

Now to clear a USB drive for data transfer….

Stefan July 30, 2011 at 9:13 am

I did install and set up WHS 2011 on my Data Vault x510 these days. And I need to say: I’m not glad with it until now.

First of all: I did upgrade my x510 with a Celeron E6600 and 4GB of RAM. This because I also used ist for running a virtual computer on it using Virtual Server. This is no longer supported.

I used a new disk for the installation so I can go back to the old WHS v1 (and it’s client backups) at any time.

Second: the backup of the server itself to a disk inside bay 4 takes hours … usually 7-8 hours for only 600GB of data.

Third: I miss the old style server backup. I liked to have my data stored the way it was in WHS v1, as I could access it easily if needed: just plug the disk to any computer. This is not possible any more. Anyone planning to write an AddIn to bring this back?

Fourth: restoring a client computer is much more difficulty than in v1. I believe, this exceeds the knowledge of most home users.

Sure: the new WHS 2011 is based on Server 2008 R2, but it is not based: it is a Server 2008 R2 with limited functionality. But I doubt if this is really, what a home user can handle.

MS needs to make this all much easier for the normal / average / home user.

I’m now trying to find out why my backup is so slow … did not find much help … no information on the backup tabs. Need to digg deeper … thank God I’m not an average home user.


Kevin July 30, 2011 at 10:36 am

I “AM” an average home user… I’m one of those who “knows just enough to really screw things up good”, which I’m guessing is a huge part of the V1 market.

The whole V2 fiasco just makes me sad because I am convinced that in a year or two I’ll somehow be “forced” to upgrade and I’m certain it will do nothing but blow up everything I have spent years collecting :(

Damian July 31, 2011 at 6:18 am

My WHS v1 just had a hardware failure which requires me to reinstall. I have 16 HDDs in my WHS for approx 26TB (duplication enabled). With the failure I need to start moving data around in order to get everything back up and running. This would have been the perfect time for me to migrate over to WHS 2011, but guess what, I am sticking with WHS v1. I am all for shiny new software, but WHS v1 work perfectly enough for me, and I have yet to see a legitimate reason why I should consider WHS 2011. Maybe over time these DE replacement addins will prove to be truly robust and stable, and at that point I will reconsider my stance. I am also not convinced that WHS 2011 has the full backing of MS.


byronomo August 2, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Few thoughts from me:
1. WHS 2011 is objectively a less capable product. To be clear, I’m not saying that it’s “inferior” as that’s a judgement for each user to decide.
2. If it were an option, I would pay more for a more capable product or a product that offered “superior” functionality (based on my needs).
3. That being said, price is not a real limiting factor for whether I adopt WHS 2011 or not. I would buy 2011 at any price (within reason–call that $300 or less) if I felt it was a superior product, and would not buy an inferior product even for $5 if I could avoid it.

JohnBick August 2, 2011 at 8:50 pm

It is easy to forget that the average business in the US has fewer than 15 employees — and most of those have fewer than 5. There *IS* no technology knowledge in such businesses and most cannot afford to hire the “consultant” support necessary to make it work and, once it is running, to provide support. Their margins may support the employee base, but they do not support much more than low-end PCs. Many (most?) of these businesses do not even have a backup strategy that is sufficient to recover their accounts receivable/payable, to say nothing about applications they use. One crash and many have to close up shop.

WHS v1 worked great for them; WHS 2011 is to complicated to use, requires “add-In” functionality and does not meet the needs of this marketplace.

Most of my clients all fit this mold and will not be upgrading to WHS 2011. The ones who will upgrade have grown SIGNIFICANTLY in the last few years and are ready to hire the needed skills (or contract for them).

I did a calculation last month and found that a whopping 75% of my clients used a client backup since purchasing an MSS/WHS. About half of that was for a complete client recovery. Additionally some 30% lost at least one WHS hard drive — but as I insist they use duplication, not a single file was lost.

And NONE of my clients are paying me for on-going support. This is accomplished by nurses, machinists, plumbers and non-techie types.


As for me? I may upgrade when I upgrade beyond my MSS EX475 *IF* WHSv1 does not support the hardware I get at that time *AND* if replacement functionality is readily available, especially for the drive pool and duplication.

Kerry August 13, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Hello John Bick,

I have been using an Aspire H340 WHS with the original installed software since I purchased it in Sept 09. It has been working fine and I have had good success backing up all my desktops and laptops around my house and home office. I was able to completely restore one laptop from a hardware crash (in warranty) after repair and when that same laptop puked again (out of warranty) I decided not to throw more money at it. Bought a new laptop and grabbed the files from the server storage and all was good, until today.

I noticed that the H340 was not collecting backups and no HD lights were on, flickering etc., as well as not able to connect from the Console on the pc’s. I did the usual reboots, and then pulled out the OS drive and connected it to my pc as a usb. Everything looked to be in order and my sweat factor went way down. Pulled my mirror RAID out and did the same–never could it beyond seeing the usb interface-ugh. I figured I had a HD fail. I re-inserted the OS drive and re-started the H340 without the mirror drive. Everything worked fine and when I checked into the Health Monitor on the Console, it told me my mirror drive had failed. Since it is hot swappable, I stuck it in to see if it crashed the unit. To my surprise, it worked fine. The H340 seems to be backing up like a champ now. BTW this machine is totally unchanged except for settings related to my normal use of the unit. I have not installed any add-ins.

I said all of that to ask a few questions. Would I have lost all of my backups if the OS HD died? Since there is very little information with the H340 and the OS restore disk resets everything to factory, what good is the mirror? I guess I am asking “How do you backup the OS?” Is this done on the mirror drive?

As you can see, I am not really talking about 2011, but thought your comment indicated that you may be able to help me with this.



Ralph Martin August 5, 2011 at 7:48 pm

I think they might just get rid of it. It is just plain stupid what Microsoft did. It is typically that they never offer a path to upgrade. They don’t want to make an effort and instead just tell you “Oh yes, you just need to reformat all your hard drives, so if you have lots of TBs then you need to buy more hard drives to backup your existing data”.

I have the EX485 and now I just feel that wasted my money and effort. A totally rip off. I’m planing on going the apple route and have a hackintosh or a Mini, this last one for Media PC and Server with some sort of NAS attached to it. The Server Version of Mac OS X Lion is just 50 bucks.

I think Microsoft is going to drop Windows Home Server, especially when everything is going Cloud, of course you won’t be able to have TBs of data in the clouds at least not anytime soon, so for the geeks a Home Server will do the Job, however, I’m just going to stick with WHS Ver 1 until I can get everything move to Mac OS X Server.

McQ August 6, 2011 at 6:13 pm

I originally was not going to consider using WHS 2011 but I finally did the deed. Been running a EX 470 6.5TB since Feb 2008 and have been very satisfied. I decided this week to grab WHS 2011 and got it from NCIX.com $48.29 CDN after they agreed to a price match. I have some old hardware to test on while I maintain the the 470 as my primary storage.
Looking forward to see who comes out with a decent DE replacement to test on the WHS2011.

Ian August 16, 2011 at 4:43 pm

I picked it up at this price and feel better about it. Still, I’m shocked at the lack of elegance. V1 was so simple to use, well thought out and generally problem free in my experience. 2011 is simply not the same in that regard. For me, it’s easy enough as I work with 2008 all the time, but I just can’t see how this is targeted at your typical home. I’ve got V1 installations in four family members households and they are completely transparent. There is absolutely no way I’d give them 2011. I’m still shocked by how much worse 2011 is in so many ways. The loss of DE is the least of them.

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