Microsoft set to ship Windows Server small biz package

Microsoft will announce the availability of Windows Small Business Server 2003 next week, the company said Wednesday.

The announcement, which had been expected, will be made Oct. 9 at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans, said Katy Hunter, group product manager for Windows Server at Microsoft.

The Small Business Server products are meant for companies with fewer than 100 employees and between two and 50 PCs that do not have a lot of in-house IT knowledge. The products are sold by hardware vendors including Dell and Hewlett-Packard as well as by IT service providers.

Small Business Server 2003 will be sold in Standard and Premium versions, a change from Small Business Server 2000. The Standard Edition, priced at US$599, is new and includes Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003. The Premium Edition, priced at $1,499, succeeds Small Business Server 2000 and adds SQL Server 2000 and the Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server to the products in Standard Edition.

Both products come with five client access licenses (CALs). Also new is an increase in the price for additional CALs, which went up from $60 to $99 each.

Special pricing is available for users who upgrade from Small Business Server 2000 to Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition, Hunter said.

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