Microsoft launches SMB server

SAN FRANCISCO (10/03/2003) - Demonstrating its ability to blend disparate server offerings, Microsoft Corp. next week will launch two versions of its Windows Small Business Server 2003.

The company wants to entice companies with fewer than 100 employees with an integrated set of core server applications and its Windows server operating system, claiming it offers a reliable foundation for building customized solutions.

The Standard Edition of the product includes Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, Windows SharePoint Services, and the Microsoft Shared Fax Service. The Premium Edition adds the company's Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2000, SQL Server 2000, and Office FrontPage 2003.

"We have taken core technologies and built integration code that ties all of them together so users can build out a variety of small business scenarios," said Katy Hunter, group product manager at Microsoft's Windows Server Division. "It is more than just offering Windows and applications bundled together."

Smooth integration of sever components is key for smaller companies that don't have a large IT staff, said Ray Boggs, vice president in charge of small and midsize business research at IDC in Framingham, Mass.

"We discovered that smaller companies often can't articulate their technology needs because they don't have a baseline from which they can start that discussion," Hunter said. "So a lot of the R&D work we did was observational, just watching how they got their jobs done.''

The Standard Edition costs US$599; the Premium Edition costs $1,499. Both include a license for five clients.

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