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Microsoft unveils new SME server platforms

Antony Savvas

Microsoft has unveiled the Windows Essential Server Solutions family of products, which aim to make SMEs become more productive and support their growth.

The offering is built on Windows Server 2008 and is supported by the newest Microsoft server technologies and services. As part of the launch, the company has revealed details about the newly named Windows Small Business Server 2008.

The Windows Essential Server Solutions family includes Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008 for mid-size companies.

The products integrate the technologies of Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, and other Microsoft products and services into all-in-one sytems that are easy to manage, Redmond said.

Windows Small Business Server 2008, previously known by the code name "Cougar," is designed for organisations with up to 50 PCs, helping them protect business data, expand business productivity and present a professional image to customers.

The new version adds a range of features and capabilities to the current Small Business Server 2003 R2 product.

Small Business Server 2008 provides increased security and protection with simplified server and PC backup technologies, and a one-year trial subscription to Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server Small Business Edition and the new Windows Live OneCare for Server.

Small Business Server 2008 also integrates with Microsoft Office Live Small Business to simplify set-up and management of professional websites and private online work spaces.

Enhancements to Remote Web Workplace, integration of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, and support for the latest Windows Mobile devices will help employees work remotely and collaborate effectively, Microsoft said.

Windows Small Business Server 2008 will be demonstrated at the Microsoft "Heroes Happen Here" launch event on 27 February in Los Angeles.

But it will not be available to buy until "the second half of 2008", Microsoft said.

Windows Essential Business Server 2008 for mid-size companies is designed for the needs of organisations with up to 250 desktops.

The system includes built-in IT best practices and provides a unified console for the management of key workloads and product licensing, which is designed to make IT budgeting and purchases simpler and more predictable.

Windows Essential Business Server combines the technologies of 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.

Again, this platform will not be available until the second half of the year.





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