Microsoft Announces Windows Essential Server Solutions

Today Microsoft unveiled details regarding a new family of server products designed for both small- and mid-sized companies. According to the company, both servers are the result of “extensive research” and “in-depth feedback” designed to “meet the unique needs of small and mid-sized customers and partners.”

In addition, the server family, which consists of Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008, incorporates technologies found in other Microsoft products such as Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and services from Microsoft Office Live Small Business where you can manage web sites and collaboration space.

Microsoft said it designed Windows Small Business Server 2008 for companies with up to 50 PCs with the goal of protecting data, increasing productivity and providing small business with a more professional image for their customers.

The server, available in Standard and Premium editions, moves beyond the company’s current offering, Small Business Server 2003 R2, by adding new features and capabilities such as online services from Microsoft.

Microsoft also claims it provides increased security and protection with simplified server and PC backup technologies, one-year trial subscriptions to Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server Small Business Edition and the new Windows Live OneCare for Server. Employees can work remotely and collaboratively through enhancements to Remote Web Workplace, integration of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, and support for Windows Mobile devices.

Windows Small Business Server 2008 also lets you accomplish the following tasks:

  • Access your business desktop including e-mail, files and business applications anytime, anywhere
  • Share resources and equipment, such as Internet access, printers and fax machines
  • Add users, servers and applications or expand into other Microsoft technologies as your business grows and changes

While Microsoft said it plans to demonstrate Windows Small Business Server 2008’s capabilities at the end of this month at the Windows 2008 launch event in Los Angeles, the product itself won’t be available until sometime in the second half of 2008.

For mid-sized companies with up to 250 PCs, Microsoft designed the Windows Essential Business Server 2008. The server, also available in two editions, addresses the needs of the IT staff, the company said, allowing staff to spend less time managing the systems and more time addressing strategic IT planning to help the company grow.

With this server, Microsoft said its goal was to combine technologies from Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Forefront Security for Exchange Server, System Center Essentials 2007, the next version of Internet Security and Acceleration Server and, in the Premium Edition, SQL Server 2008 technology.

The Windows Essential Business Server 2008 offers the following:

  • Centralized administration console for a single point of access to your IT environment
  • Remote access, anti-spam, anti-virus protection and improved messaging technologies
  • The capability to automate routine tasks and proactively manage the IT environment from a single point of access
  • An integrated setup to reduce installation steps from days to hours
  • A single server license and Client Access for all included products
  • The capability view, deploy, manage and administer third-party applications from one starting point
  • Proactively manage and address security concerns from a dedicated security page in the administration console

Like its small business cousin, Windows Essential Business Server 2008 will demo in Los Angeles at the end of February, but won’t be available until the second half of 2008.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of

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