July 14, 2008, 1:29 PM — At its worldwide partner conference last week in Houston, Microsoft filled in some details regarding the Small Business and Essential Business server products.
Nov. 12, 2008 is the official launch date for Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008, according to Steven VanRoekel, senior director of the Windows Server Solutions Group. Activities that day will signal availability of both solutions and kick off launch efforts worldwide. In many ways, though, we consider WPC our launch for partners and we want to help them plan and prepare for the solutions.
VanRoekel provided an overview of the two products. Windows Essential Server Solutions, encompassing Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Essential Business Server 2008, are Microsoftâ€™s family of integrated, all-in-one IT solutions designed and priced for small and midsize businesses. He added that by combining Microsoft technologies such as Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, SQL Server 2008 and other Microsoft products and services, these solutions make the benefits of enterprise-class IT accessible, affordable and simpler for smaller organizations.
Over the next year, Microsoft plans to train more than 25,000 partners through events and online tools. The company also is introducing a new online tool, called Solutions Pathway, that will allow partners to assess customersâ€™ current investments in Microsoft server technologies, and then receive savings of approximately 30 percent or more on upgrades or migrations to the solutions.
Both servers are close to the Release Candidate 1 milestone. Pre-release versions of Small Business Server 2008 and Essential Business Server 2008 are available for download and evaluation now.