Microsoft is on the heels of CHANGE along with the new editions of Windows Server 2012 and has decided to abandon Windows Home Server in context of Windows Server 2012 Essentials formally known as Windows Small Business Server Essentials.
The company shared the future of Windows Home Server in Windows Server 2012 Essentials FAQs sheet as follows:
Q: Will there be a next version of Windows Home Server?
A: No. Windows Home Server has seen its greatest success in small office/home office (SOHO) environments and among the technology enthusiast community. For this reason, Microsoft is combining the features that were previously only found in Windows Home Server, such as support for DLNA-compliant devices and media streaming, into Windows Server 2012 Essentials and focusing our efforts into making Windows Server 2012 Essentials the ideal first server operating system for both small business and home use – offering an intuitive administration experience, elastic and resilient storage features with Storage Spaces, and robust data protection for the server and client computers.
Despite of discontinuation, Microsoft will continue to offer Windows Home Server 2011 through OEM channel until December 31, 2025, and in other channels until December 31, 2013.
Windows Home Server 2011 is designed to provide affordable and easy solution for automated backups, stream media files and keep secure and safe home network; was released in April 2011.
Besides Microsoft is also killing off Windows Small Business Server Standard but it will also be available through the OEM channel until December 31, 2013, and in other channels until June 30, 2013. While under Software Assurance, Windows SBS 2011 Standard will get free upgrade to Windows Server 2012 Standard along with Exchange Server 2010 Standard.