Microsoft Announces General Availability of Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008
Nov. 12, 2008
Solutions designed to help small and midsize businesses save money and compete in a global marketplace.

REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 12, 2008 — As part of Microsoft Corp.’s $6.5 billion annual investment in products, support programs and incentives for small and midsize businesses, the company today announced the general availability of Windows Small Business Server 2008 (SBS 2008) and Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (EBS 2008). These solutions bring the power of Microsoft’s enterprise-class server technologies to small and midsize companies in a way that companies can best consume them. They are designed and priced to help customers save money and compete more successfully in the global marketplace.

“If time equals money, then we’re saving a lot of money,” said Rob Harris of Robby Gordon Motorsports. “Our race car business is very performance-based with things constantly changing. I attribute a lot of our growth to Microsoft’s server solutions and the impact they have on our company’s ability to perform in a competitive worldwide arena.”

According to AMI-Partners Inc., home-based, small and midsize businesses employ 90 percent of the global work force and account for more than 50 percent of gross domestic product worldwide.

“Around the world, small and midsize businesses are the engine that drives economic growth and opportunity,” said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. “To help these businesses succeed, Microsoft has focused on creating integrated, affordable server solutions that are optimized to meet the needs of companies with limited IT resources. Small Business Server and Essential Business Server deliver a comprehensive set of capabilities that will help small and midsize business thrive and grow.”

Large enterprises typically have specialists on staff with the technical knowledge, budgets and time needed to manage IT environments — a luxury small and midsize businesses can rarely afford. Based on feedback directly from customers, SBS and EBS greatly help reduce the setup and ongoing management of IT, while enabling new scenarios to enhance end-user productivity, as well as saving companies money on license costs.

“We used to spend 15 hours a month doing upgrades,” said Tom Goddard, director of Information Technology for Lee Company. “Instead, with EBS, this is down to two hours a week. That alone saves us $11,000 per year and allows us to spend more time thinking strategically about our business.”

Licensing and Financing

To ease customer concerns about the initial investment cost of rolling out new infrastructure technology, Microsoft has developed licensing and financing options that allow flexible payment terms from 24 months to 60 months. Both SBS 2008 and EBS 2008 are priced significantly less for qualified customers than it would cost to separately purchase products similar to those included in SBS 2008 and EBS 2008, and Microsoft is offering financing for the hardware, software and partner professional services. In addition, Microsoft offers several flexible licensing options to allow for complete scalability of customers’ cost in relation to their usage, including various client access licenses (CALs) in quantities to suit customers’ specific needs. For example, a company will be able to purchase a single CAL and pay only for the exact number of employees using the product. More licensing information is available at http://www.microsoft.com/licensing.

Partner Ecosystem

Microsoft has turned to its more than 400,000 partners worldwide — 20,000 of which are small-business specialists — and provided them with other resources to help small and midsize businesses successfully implement and use these solutions.

Microsoft hardware partners are offering a broad choice of solutions for SBS 2008 and EBS 2008. Dell Inc., HP and IBM Corp. have optimized their hardware configurations for a superior customer experience when installing, running and maintaining SBS 2008. HP, IBM and Intel Corporation have also designed and priced blade servers specifically for midsize customers. Combined with EBS 2008, these blade servers give customers an affordable and scalable infrastructure solution that is easy to set up and manage. Customers can also choose from a wide variety of traditional rack-and-tower servers from Dell, HP, IBM, Lenovo and Sun Microsystems Inc.

Many independent software vendors (ISVs) are also supporting SBS 2008 and EBS 2008, across a wide variety of applications such as backup and recovery, security, business management, systems management, line-of-business applications, and more. In addition, SBS 2008 and EBS 2008 will run virtually any applications certified on Windows Server 2008.

Platinum sponsors participating in the worldwide launch event are Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), CA, Citrix Systems Inc., Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Lenovo, Sun Microsystems, Symantec Corp. and Trend Micro Inc.

Product Details

Designed for companies with up to 75 users or PCs, SBS 2008 is an integrated server solution created to help businesses keep their data more secure and make their company more productive. SBS provides many of the technologies used by larger companies, such as Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and other Microsoft products. EBS 2008 is designed for businesses with up to 300 users or PCs, and allows IT managers to have more control over their environment by reducing complexity and automating common tasks. With support for Windows Mobile phones, SBS 2008 and EBS 2008 can significantly help boost productivity with access to business e-mail, calendar, contacts and files when away from the office. More information on both standard and premium editions of the products, including detailed feature lists, can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/wess/en/us/default.aspx.

More information about the worldwide launch activities can be found at http://www.thedreamserver.com or http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/serversolutions/default.mspx. Additional information about the products, pricing and customer feedback is available at http://www.microsoft.com/wess.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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