Just my 0.05$.. I´ve been a Windows user since I began using computers 15 years ago and been working in the IT business since I was in the early teens and always been heavily into the Microsoft/Windows ecosystem, although I've used various Linux distro's on my servers and workstations on/off...
I've got that comment in other places but I just want to point out that I live in Iceland, and for more then half of the year it's pretty dark here :)
But during summer when the sun really doesn't go down, even during night, it can get frustrating. Those curtains save me from any glare though.
New 8core workstation underneath in a fugly R910 case, still making up my mind on which case to get.
HTPC on the shelf, old T43 body velcroed to the back of the monitor, serves as a Plex client. Link to album with more pics and details.
Roku or Google TV. I have the Roku 2XS and a Vizio Co star (GTV), and I´m a big fan of Roku's simplicity, but GoogleTV completely won me over, and since I got it in my living room I just use the HTPC for gaming.
Easy to use, fullblown remote with qwerty, thousands of android apps, all the big...
So you would basicly connect the HTPC to the TV, and run the VM in fullscreen?
I´m not that familiar working with VB, but running HD AV outputs through an VM is something I would never recommend. FPS drops, probably no GPU acceleration, and I would assume problems playing surround/HD audio...
A proper firewall is the first thing that comes to mind, but isn't everything encrypted at the service level either way? Dont you have to use some kind of authentication token to login to those services along with your username and pw?
What Liberty said, was basicly going to recommend those same NAS's. Or perhaps just build a cheap whitebox diskserver and run FreeNAS or unRAID - that's what I would do at least, just for future options.
ElementaryOS for everyday usage, dualbooting W8 for gaming, mix of unix/MS for server platforms, W8/linux mix for server monitoring stations and misc information (metro apps for eyecandy stations f.x.)