""More than a decade ago, Microsoft execs, led by Chairman Bill Gates, were touting a future where .Net coffee pots, bulletin boards, and refrigerator magnets would be part of homes where smart devices would communicate and inter-operate. Microsoft hasn't given up on that dream."
Desktop computers, check. Laptops, check. Gaming console, check. Mobile phone, check. Home automation... it looks like Microsoft is intent on offering services for every aspect of your life. Their latest innovation comes to you in the form of HomeOS, a home automation system. Home automation is nothing new, and there are numerous specialized companies ready to offer you fancy, expensive automation systems so you can stand outside your home constantly turning your lights on and off from your phone. If you have an appetite for tinkering, there are more home grown solutions such as LinuxMCE, that while it handles media streaming, also integrates with many other things such as automation and security. Apple is slowly approaching this sort of service as well though right now, it seems mostly just focused on media.
I think that HomeOS could go really well, especially if it integrates with Windows Home Server. It would not make sense if you needed two separate servers to handle your home server-like needs. I have to wonder if there is a great use for this, as them young ones seem to be living a much more mobile lifestyle than before, and whatever you have at home is not as relevant anymore.