Microsoft's Windows Home Server software will launch a week today, the company has confirmed.

Although the company did not trumpet the date, an update to the Support Lifecycle section of Microsoft's website listed the release as the last Monday of the month (August 27). Noted Windows blogger Long Zheng, who writes the istartedsomething blog, first reported the Lifecycle listing.

Windows Home Server was released to manufacturing on July 16. With that milestone, the code was handed off to Microsoft's internal distribution teams as well as the hardware partners, which will unveil ready-to-go systems later this year. Those OEM partners include HP, Fujitsu-Siemens, Gateway, Iomega, LaCie and Medion.

No partner has yet disclosed a ship date or final price for a Windows Home Server-based server, nor has Microsoft discussed pricing for the system builder version, which it will sell as software-only to smaller computer dealers and hobbyists. The latter can then use the system builder edition to install Windows Home Server on existing PCs.

Windows Home Server, which is based on Windows Server 2003 code, provides automatic backup; disk, folder and file restore; file and printer sharing, and remote web-based access for up to 10 Windows XP or Vista PCs connected by a cabled or wireless network.

Microsoft did not immediately reply to a request for comment and additional information on the date and Windows Home Server's pricing.

Although Microsoft has been coy at times about the ship date for Windows Home Server, last month Microsoft senior product manager Joel Sider said the first hardware wave would probably hit in late September or early October. In January, when Microsoft unveiled Windows Home Server at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Steven VanRoekel, the director of Windows server solutions, said the software would roll out "in the back-to-school-ish time".

See also:

Windows Home Server: a home IT revolution?