Linksys has rolled out a network storage system aimed at home and small office users.
The news comes just hours after Microsoft announced its Windows Home Server device, manufactured by HP, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Linksys' NAS200 Network Storage System, which will retail at US$179.99, will not use the new Microsoft Home Server software.
It will not rely on any PC-based client software, but will instead be controlled through what the company calls "a web-based management utility".
The NAS200 has a pair of 3.5in Sata hard drive bays and two USB ports, but no built-in storage devices. Customers will have to purchase and install hard drives separately.
Linksys believes that the lack of pre-installed hard drives will let users better tailor the device to fit their needs.
"Linksys is giving consumers the opportunity to choose the hard drive capacity that is right for them, and to easily back up their irreplaceable personal content," said Mani Dhillon, a director of product marketing at Linksys.
After a user has installed a storage drive in the device, the NAS200 can be attached to a home network through a standard Ethernet router or switch, said Linksys.
The company declined to label the NAS200 as a competitor to Windows Home Server, suggesting that the Linksys offering was more of a "stripped down" network storage device than a fully functional network server.
However, Microsoft and Linksys are both targeting the devices at home and small business users looking to safely back up and archive collections of digital music, image and video files.
Linksys has stated officially that the NAS200 will ship by the end of the first quarter of 2007, but a spokesman told vnunet.com that the device will ship before the end of January.
Linksys rolls out home-network storage system
By Shaun Nichols on Jan 10, 2007 9:26AM