Microsoft Readies Small Business Server 7 Beta

Microsoft says it will begin beta testing the next rev of its Small Business Server (SBS) by the end of the month.

The move by Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) puts version 7 a little behind two other related servers but still within a week of being on track to ship “by the end of summer,” which is officially Sept. 23, as the company promised in July.

“We can confirm that Small Business Server 7 will reach public beta by the end of September,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in an e-mail to

In mid-August, the company announced it had begun shipping preview releases of a next-generation Small Business Server codenamed Aurora, which adds support for cloud computing, and a new Windows Home Server, codenamed Vail.

A server, codenamed SBS 7, is a pending release that has been referred to as SBS “standard.”

SBS 7 will include an update of SBS’s remote access features. Additionally, it will update the server suite to 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, a company spokesperson said in August.

SBS 7 will also support up to 75 users, and adds a simplified automatic backup and restore facility, according to a post to the SBS Blog (as PDF) in late July. In contrast, Aurora will support 25 users, the company said.

Meanwhile, SBS 7 also will provide both end-point security for clients in the form of “antivirus status,” update compliance, and overall security health,” and improved network security, the blog post said.

At Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington in mid-July, officials said that Aurora and SBS 7 would begin previews by the end of summer, beginning with SBS 7.

However, when the company released previews a month later, they only included Aurora and Vail. Now, SBS 7 seems to be back on track.

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

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