Microsoft Australia will give away free software to users of its recently cancelled Windows Essential Business Server, a bundle of Windows Server and other products aimed at organisations between 75 and 300 users that the company positioned as the stepping stone between Windows Small Business Server and other licenses for Microsoft enterprise products.
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In a statement issued to SearchCIO ANZ outlining future arrangements for Windows EBS users, a spokesperson for the company said Microsoft " recognize[s] that discontinuing EBS could result in additional cost and complexity for customers when they decide to upgrade." Microsoft will therefore " ... provide a one-time limited offer for all EBS 2008 customers. Beginning on June 30, 2010 until December 31, 2010, current EBS 2008 customers can get most of the individual component software from the suite for free (local taxes, shipping and handling charges may apply). This means EBS 2008 customers can get copies of Windows Server 2008 Standard, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Standard and Microsoft System Center Essentials 2007."
The statement also explains future support arrangements for the product.
"Australian EBS 2008 customers will still receive support through the normal product life cycle," the spokesperson wrote in an email to SearchCIO ANZ. "Because EBS 2008 is a suite that includes several individual products, each with different support lifecycle, support will last through 2017 for some components and through 2018 for others. For more detailed information on the lifecycle for the EBS 2008 suite, customers can go to http://www.support.microsoft.com/lifecycle. If you acquired EBS with OEM hardware, please contact the manufacturer of your server hardware that came with EBS for their support policies."
The Windows EBS website contains more information for users.