SharePoint is the uniting force behind Microsoft’s new biz server strategy

12 Nov 2008

The SharePoint collaborative working technology is to feature right across Microsoft’s new family of server products for small- and medium-sized businesses, has learned.

Microsoft this morning introduced two new members to its Business Server family.

The company launched standard and premium editions of its Small Business Server 2008 for firms with between five and 50 PCs.

It also launched standard and premium editions of its Essential Business Server 2008 technology for firms of between 50 and 300 PCs.

Security and collaboration are the key features of the new Business Server families, with SharePoint and Forefront security software featuring in both sets of products.

“From our perspective, the timing is good for the launch of these new products,” Enda Flynn, Windows Essential Server Solutions product marketing manager told

“Across the business world, there’s a focus on cutting costs but boosting productivity.

“In the current environment, the new Business Server families are tailored to satisfy two priorities: big IT at low cost and low administration.”

Flynn said the new software families will segue neatly into Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing vision. “Companies will want intelligent software on devices, but also will want to access applications online. The aim of these new server families is to support businesses and individuals that want to work online, on the device or a mix of the two.

“We plan to continue to drive productivity and entertainment technologies, but also plan to deliver services through the web. The idea is software plus services. We don’t see people simply moving from the device to the web, but working on regardless. It shouldn’t matter whether you’re working at your desk, on an airplane or in a café, what matters is you can carry on working.

“The reality is that a small business is always going to have PCs in the organisation. This is about the infrastructure to support those machines to meet the demands in terms of productivity, management and security. No matter how much you talk about the cloud, you’re still going to have to manage PCs and laptops on the network and ensure security.

“Customers will want a mix of on-premises and online capabilities,” Flynn said.

The Standard Edition of Small Business Server 2008 will come with Windows Server 2008 standard technologies, SharePoint Services 3.0, Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server, Windows Server Update Services 3.0 and Windows Live OneCare. The Premium Edition will come with SQL Server 2008.

The Essential Business Server 2008 Standard Edition will feature Windows Server 2008, System Centre Essentials 2007, SharePoint Services 3.0, Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, Forefront Security for Exchange Server and Forefront Threat Management Gateway. The Premium Edition will come with SQL Server 2008.

By John Kennedy

Pictured are: (back left) Larry Doyle, managing director, Netforce, and (front centre) Enda Flynn, Windows Exclusive Server Solutions product manager, Microsoft, at the Launch of Microsoft SBS

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years