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Apple has used the Macworld Conference in San Francisco to roll out new storage solutions called “Time Capsule”.

Apple isn’t using the phrase “home server,” but the first announcement from Steve Jobs at Macworld Expo is a new device called “Time Capsule,” which he said will work with the Time Machine feature in the new Mac OS X Leopard to help people back up their personal media and data over their home networks.

Basically an Airport Extreme NAS, the Time Capsule router allows those running Leopard while connected over WiFi to run Time Machine. Currently, unless you use a back-end hack to enable WiFi backups, you have to plug and unplug your laptop to an external drive to run Time Machine backups. Time Capsule removes that requirement, thus making WiFi Time Machine backups simple.

 

It’s an Airport Extreme wireless base station with a large hard drive. The 500 GB version will sell for US$299, the 1 terabyte version for U$499, and they’ll be available in February. Australian pricing is $429 for the 500GB version and $699 for the 1TB version.

“These are very aggresive prices because we want people backing up their content,” Jobs said.

It’s not a precise counterpart, but Microsoft got into a similar market last year, unveiling a program called Windows Home Server along with its hardware partners, in part to facilitate home media backups. The experience hasn’t been without glitches for the Redmond company. The Microsoft software suffered a high-profile bug that caused concerns about data corruption.

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