Microsoft sets ship date on mid-market server bundle

Will include Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Forefront Security for Exchange, System Center Essentials and the next version of ISA Server

Microsoft has christened its forthcoming server bundle for midsize businesses, Windows Essential Business Server, and said it would release a second beta by year-end and ship the software late in 2008.

The server bundle, which was code-named Centro, includes Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Forefront Security for Exchange, System Center Essentials and the next version of ISA Server in the Standard Edition. A Premium Edition adds SQL Server 2008. All the software will be offered as part of a single 64-bit only server package.

The bundle, aimed at companies with 25 to 250 PCs, has been in the works for the past two years. It has mostly been hung up by delays in Windows Server 2008, which forms the foundation of the bundle, but it is also waiting on SQL Server 2008 and a new version of ISA Server.

Bill Gates, Microsoft's chief software architect, first unveiled Centro during the company's first ever Business Summit for mid-market companies in September 2005. The original target ship date set by Gates was 2007.

During the delay, Microsoft has unfolded its software-plus-services initiative and its plans to offer all its core software in a services model. Centro will be released as an on-premise product, but Microsoft officials say they will evaluate the services angles for mid-market customers.

"As the software-plus-services model evolves and as the core products of Windows Essential Business Server have service offerings we will look at including them," says Russ Madlener, director of product planning for the Windows Server solutions group within Microsoft's server and tools division.

Microsoft said Windows Essential Business Server (WEBS) will require only a single client access license (CAL) per user to access all the features of the bundle. The bundle also includes a management console that is extensible and Microsoft partners CA, Citrix, Full Armor, Symantec, and Trend Micro have already built add-ins for it.

The console also lets users manage the CALs for WEBS via the console, which reports how many licenses a company has and who they are assigned to. Administrators also can reassign CALs to other users.

Next week, at the company's annual IT Forum in Barcelona, Microsoft is expected to demonstrate WEBS running on Intel hardware. Other hardware partners also are supporting WEBS, including Fujitsu-Siemens, HP and IBM.

Microsoft also said the next version of Windows Small Business Server, code-named Cougar, is in a private beta and that the road map for the software will be updated in the coming months.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Fontana

Network World
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?