Microsoft sahres small and mid-size Windows server plans

Microsoft is sharing more details about its small- and mid-size servers due out later this year that will be built around Windows Server 2008. Both of these servers are part of the newly-christened Essential Server Solutions Family. At the low end (for users with 50 PCs or fewer), Microsoft will offer Windows Small Business Server […]

Microsoft is sharing more details about its small- and mid-size servers due out later this year that will be built around Windows Server 2008.

Both of these servers are part of the newly-christened Essential Server Solutions Family. At the low end (for users with 50 PCs or fewer), Microsoft will offer Windows Small Business Server 2008, the product codenamed “Cougar.” For mid-size companies, Microsoft is readying Windows Essential Business Server 2008, codenamed “Centro.”

Both of these products are currently in private beta testing, according to Microsoft. They will go to public beta some time in the first half of this year and both launch together in the second half of 2008, company officials said.

Microsoft is sharing more specifics about the two pending server bundles a week before the company’s “Heroes Happen Here” launch of Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008. Here are a couple of new tidbits I gleaned from chatting with Steven VanRoekel, Senior Director with Microsoft’s Server and Tools Division:

* Both Essential Server bundles will come in two flavors: Standard and Premium.

* The Standard version of Cougar will consist of Windows Server 2008, Windows SharePoint Services v3, Exchange Server 2007, Forefront Security for Exchange and Windows Live OneCare for Server, all running on a single server. The Premium version allows users to run Cougar on two servers, with a second instance of Windows Server 2008, plus SQL Server 2008, on the second server. The Standard version requires a standard client-access license (CAL); the premium, a premium CAL. (Previous Small Business Servers required a common CAL whether users had the standard or premium release.)

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Microsoft, Windows Server, Windows Server 2008, WS2008, Longhorn, Server