Windows Essential Server Solutions Slated for Fall
By Michelle Savage
July 7, 2008 —
At its Worldwide Partner Conference today in Houston, Microsoft made a few announcements about Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008; both have reached the Release Candidate 1 milestone and will launch on Nov. 12, 2008.
Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Essential Business Server 2008 are integrated, all-in-one IT solutions targeted at small and mid-size businesses. Small Business Server 2008 is an update to Small Business Server 2003, while Windows Essential Server Solutions 2008 is a new product, targeted at mid-size firms with small IT departments.
Both solutions combine the server operating system with Exchange Server and other software into a bundle that is cheaper and easier to install than acquiring the products separately.
Windows Small Business Server 2008 includes a Windows Server 2008 base, as well as Exchange Server 2007, Office Live Services, SharePoint Services 3.0, SQL Server and Windows Server Update Services 3.0.
Windows Essential Business Server Standard Edition combines Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Forefront Security for Exchange, Systems Center Essentials 2007 and an upcoming release of Threat Management Gateway, an ISA Server designed for the mid-market server. This server fills a void in Microsoft's product line for companies that fall between small and enterprise-level licensing options.
Steven VanRoekel, senior director of Windows Server Solutions Group at Microsoft, said that both solutions are on target to launch this fall.
VanRoekel touted the importance of partners to smaller businesses, saying that nearly all of Microsoft’s mid-market customers rely on partners. He said that partners help these customers overcome the common challenges—lack of resources and limited IT expertise—that result in slow adoption of technologies designed to overcome these very things.
VanRoekel also announced that Dell and Wortmann AG in Europe have confirmed that they will deliver hardware systems powered by Essential Business Server 2008 and Small Business Server 2008. “Software development kits and other resources will be available to software vendors, so their products can be truly integrated with and managed from within the Windows Essential Server Solutions,” he added.
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