Redmond yesterday revealed plans for the next version of its Windows server operating system, with different flavours for small biz and mid-sized organisations.
Small Business Server 2008 (SBS), formally code-named "Cougar", will be available in Standard and Premium editions and will cater for companies of 50 or fewer staff.
Microsoft said its standard SBS package will include one copy of Windows Server 2008, collaboration server – SharePoint Services 3.0, Exchange Server 2007, and Windows Live OneCare for Server. There will also be add-on tools for the software giant's newly launched Office Live Small Business online service.
The premium edition will have all of the above plus an extra copy of Windows Server 2008 for a separate seat, as well as a standard edition of SQL Server 2008.
Redmond’s other product has been dubbed Essential Business Server (EBS) 2008, which was previously code-named "Centro". It will be targeted at mid-sized firms with up to 250 computers, and will also be availble in either standard or premium versions.
EBS standard edition will carry three copies of Windows Server 2008, two of which will be set up specifically to handle Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) on either a domain controller or mail server. The remaining copy will be loaded with System Center Essentials, which runs as the admin unit.
It will also be bundled with Exchange Server 2007 and Forefront. On the premium edition, Redmond has added SQL Server 2008.
Microsoft gave a fuzzy, ball-park release date of the second half of this year for both products, which will be demoed at the firm's "Heroes Happen Here" launch event on 27 February in Los Angeles.
Redmond admitted last month that SQL Server 2008 won't hit manufacturing until the third quarter at the earliest. ®