Microsoft completes Small Business Server 2008, preps for November launch

Platform combines range of servers, services

Microsoft Friday said it has completed development on Small Business Server 2008 and that the software will hit its targeted ship date of Nov. 12.

The long-awaited server, built on Windows Server 2008, also includes Exchange Server 2007, SharePoint Services 3.0, Windows Server Update Services 3.0, Forefront Security for Exchange Server, Windows Live OneCare for Server and integration with Office Live Small Business.

SBS 2008, which was code-named Cougar, is designed for companies with as many as 50 PCs, and comes in a Standard and Premium version.

Microsoft has eliminated Internet Security and Acceleration Server (ISA) from the bundle and replaced it with a 120-day trial subscription to Forefront Security for Exchange Server Small Business Edition and Windows Live OneCare for Server.

The inclusion of Office Live Small Business provides tools to create basic Web sites, online document sharing via SharePoint and an introduction to Microsoft's online advertising platform.

The Premium version of SBS lets users for the first time run the software on two servers. The second server runs Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2005 or 2008 to support business applications.

In May, Microsoft announced pricing for SBS 2008 along with Windows Essential Business Server (EBS), two bundles that make up its Windows Essential Server Solutions family.

SBS 2008 Standard is priced at $1,089, which includes five Client Access Licenses (CAL). Additional CALs are $77 each. The Premium version is priced at $1,899 and additional CALs are $189.

The company also said it is introducing the option to purchase single CALs. Previously, users had to purchase them in blocks of five. In addition, the CALs will apply to copies of Windows Server, SQL Server and Exchange Server running outside the Essential Server environment.

In SBS 2008, Microsoft has added tools to manage domain names and data folders, monitoring that stretches across servers and clients, customized and remotely available reports, and block-based server protection to speed backups.

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