Target Market for Windows Home Server

When we set out to prove a business case for building Windows Home Server we scoured all of the existing secondary research data and decided to focus on households with a broadband connection with 2 or more "active" PCs that are sharing the internet connection.  Back during the initial planning stages for the product in mid-2005, we discovered that there are over 15 million of these households in the USA, and over 40 million worldwide.  The numbers have continued to grow since that time.

We have done a lot of research on these homes over the last 2 years to uncover additional data, and also see if they were ready for a "home server" product.  Here are a few of the things we have learned:

  • On average, these households have 3 "active" PCs with the majority running a mix of Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional

  • Over 90% of these households own a digital camera

  • Over 95% own a color printer

  • 70% own a game console

  • Less than 20% feel they have a good backup solution

We did several primary research studies and had familes and home-based businesses rank a set of scenarios for functionality that could be included in a potential home server product.  We have used this data extensively in our decision making processes to build a product to help consumers in multi-PC households.  We learned early on that "automation" is key and that we should not ask any unanswerable questions.  We also learned that acronyms can mean a lot of different things to different people and it is always better to use simple words and phrases to avoid confusion.  Does PC mean "personal computer" or "politically correct" ??

Our goal is to build a product that "enthusiasts" will love, but that is also easy-to-use and approachable for the "enthused followers".  As we know from the research that only a little over 1/3 of those broadband connected households with 2 or more PCs actually has an "enthusiast" that lives there. 


Comments (6)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Looking forward to some great posts.

    One observation: Full feeds is generally considered the best way to go when your blog isn’t advertising dependent and you therefore don’t need the click through traffic. My guess is that most of your readers are going to be techies who use RSS readers and who aren’t going to want to click through. Some will go so far as to unsubscribe from a blog that only posts partial feeds.

    I hope you choose to post full feeds going forward.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Great blog guys. Curious on your research, what’d you find out about HTPC users? Was the decision not to include Media Center features a cost reason or just not enough users from those polled?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Could you please explain a bit more about the disk protection if it is not RAID

  4. Anonymous says:

    TimC, see Paul Thorrot’s preview here:

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m your target market!

    2 desktops, 2 laptops, and soon adding a HTPC or two..or possible something like the EVA8000 and a WHS.

    Techie with a semi-tech wife.

    So, let me know if you need some beta-testing.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I work at home. I have three primary production machines. (many more). I have also several servers (server 2003). Those are exclusively dedicated to businesses. What I also would like (personal and business mix for myself and 5 other users), A server that can do file sharing, a server that can do Share Point Services, the equivalent of Groove and or Forms, can share media files (tv and music and Dvr), that can act as a complete communications tool, outlook, fax, and TELEPHONE call center be able to trade stocks online, and do banking, serve as a MS live server (online meetings). Hosts a public website and a private one. Now I realize that this can be pieced together (i have it now), but its expensive (very) and you have to be extremely proficient to do all of this in the Pieces. But integrate it all while you are doing this. I really want what the Pentagon has (or should have) but cheap. there’s the challenge.

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