Microsoft Clarifies Small Business Server Names, Prices

Friday Nov 5th 2010 by Stuart J. Johnston
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Small businesses are starting to gain access to the kinds of business tools that large corporations take for granted -- Microsoft is one of the vendors looking to mine that largely overlooked market.

As Microsoft gets ever closer to final release of the latest updates to its Small Business Server (SBS) product line, it is revealing more about the final naming, as well as licensing costs, and estimated delivery dates for them.

"Since we announced the availability of the beta version of Windows Small Business Server code name 'Aurora' and Windows Small Business Server '7', both products have been downloaded more than 9,000 times through both our partner and customer community," Manlio Vecchiet, director for Windows Server product management, said in a post to Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows Small Business Server blog on Tuesday.

The two servers have been in beta testing since late last summer.

Aurora, which is designed to provide connectivity with Microsoft's cloud computing platform, including the recently introduced Office 365, which will provide hosted email and collaboration capabilities via the cloud, has been renamed to Windows SBS 2011 Essentials.

Essentials 2011 will support up to 25 users, with no client access license (CAL) requirements, and the server license will cost $545. Microsoft expects to ship it during the first half of next year.

Meanwhile, SBS 7 has been renamed to Windows SBS 2011 Standard. Standard will update the all-in-one server suite to provide the latest versions of Windows Server 2008 Release 2 (R2), Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1), SharePoint 2010 Foundation, Windows Server Update Services 3.0 and SQL Server 2008 R2, the company said in September.

Standard will support as many as 75 users but will require a CAL for each user. The server license will cost $1,096 with each CAL priced at approximately $72 per user.

"Standard will be available through all current Microsoft server licensing channels and is expected to release in December 2010. Further availability through OEM's and system builders is expected starting February 2011," Vecchiet added.

In addition, Microsoft will offer an additional standalone server package designed to provide support for database transaction processing. Dubbed the SBS 2011 Premium Add-on, the bundle will come with a copy Windows Server 2008 Release 2 (R2) Standard as well as SQL Server 2008 R2 for Small Business.

The Premium Add-on is also targeted for December 2010 release. It will cost $1,604 for the server license plus $92 per SQL Server CAL. The Premium Add-on can be deployed with either 2011 Essentials or 2011 Standard.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

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