"Best Solution for Home Users"4.5 starson by cringgen
Pros: Easy, Fast, Expandable, Strong HP add-on Software
Cons: Can always be less expensive. Limited Mac support
Summary: I am fortunate to have a shipping version of the ex475 now. After only a couple weeks of use, it has delivered everything promised.
PRO's: Setup was easy. 1TB is enough initial storage, with lots of expansion options. HP Support was great with my two questions. Warranty is good. Looks good, although I have it stored next to my router in the basement. HP add-on software really differentiates this solutions vs any other Microsoft Home Server solution.
CON's: $749 list price may be $100 too high, but not bad given the easy of use vs. competition. No support for automatic backup for my Macbook Pro. (Everything else is supported.)
I bought this to take advantage of all the key selling points, (backup, photo-sharing, file-sharing, iTunes centralization, etc.). However, one of the best side benefits has been the ability to leverage this with a new HP 47" 1080P LCD HDTV with MediaSmart. I can now access all our videos, photos, and music directly from the TV. Prior to having the server, I had to stream music or photos from specific PC's located throughout the house. This server eliminates that requirement and give me "wire speed" access to ALL media files. Very nice.
HP seems to be ahead of the field currently. Others are sure to ship solutions over the next few months, but this will win the holiday shoppers wallet for 2007.
Finally, the tweaks made to this software by Microsoft, with input from HP, were worth the extra 60 day wait. Microsoft may have actually provided a solid product right out of the gate.