Microsoft launches SMB server platform

Aim to put Windows Server functionality within reach of small businesses

As part of a plan to give small businesses access to big business solutions, Microsoft has unveiled Windows Server 2008 Foundation, what it hope will be a platform for business growth among such SMBs.

Built specifically for small businesses with 15 or fewer users, Windows Server 2008 Foundation is claimed by Microsoft to put the reliability, security and manageability of the Windows Server platform within the reach of all businesses at an affordable price.  Windows Server 2008 Foundation will be initially available in 40 countries and Microsoft believes that it will provide small businesses with the ability to run business applications and databases, host websites, and provide basic server functionality such as file and print sharing and remote access.

In order to emphasise the commitment of Microsoft to the SMB community, chief executive officer Steve Ballmer commented: “We are launching a new server-based solution…to give small businesses access to the power of server-based business software. Small businesses around the world have big business dreams and needs.

“To support [small businesses] I am also pleased to announce that we will donate a portion of the revenues of Windows Server 2008 Foundation to and, two organisations that focus on bringing the power of technology to nonprofits around the world. We see this as an opportunity not only to deliver a technical foundation for business growth but also to create a financial foundation for community.”

In explaining its rationale for the launch, Microsoft said that its goal was to provide a Windows Server-based solution for every customer need, size and budget. As businesses grow, Microsoft is giving customers the opportunity to upgrade to other versions of the Windows Server family, which provide additional functionality such as: integrated e-mail, simplified management, virtualisation and other business-enhancing features.

Providing analysis on the move, Analysing Al Gillen, program vice president of industry research firm IDC said, “Microsoft is filling a crucial hole at the low end of its Windows Server portfolio by delivering a simple, low-cost solution geared for small businesses and first-time server users. Windows Server 2008 Foundation really rounds out Microsoft’s server platform and provides a solution for a key market segment.”

Ready for purchase now, Windows Server 2008 Foundation will be available initially preinstalled on servers from Dell, HP, and IBM and Lenovo, each of whom will be able to set its own price. More information on and details on how to purchase Windows Server 2008 Foundation are available at .

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