Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Release Candidate Now Available

REDMOND, Wash., July 1, 2003 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that its Windows®
Small Business Server 2003 Release Candidate is available for technology providers and small businesses to begin testing. Available in two editions, Premium and Standard, the newest version of Windows Small Business Server is built on Microsoft’s highly reliable and secure Windows Server (TM) 2003 operating system and delivers an integrated solution that is simple to install, simple to manage and simple to use. By incorporating these simplicity innovations into both Standard and Premium versions, Windows Small Business Server 2003 offers more value to a broader set of small-business customers. Microsoft will begin shipping 200,000 evaluation kits for testing and evaluation and will kick off a worldwide partner training program, ensuring that technology providers, who are often the principal IT support for small businesses, are fully prepared to help their small-business customers immediately realize solution benefits upon commercial availability.

“We looked very carefully at the needs of small-business customers and their technology providers when we designed this release of Windows SBS,”
said Bill Veghte, corporate vice president of the Windows Server Group at Microsoft.
“Windows Small Business Server 2003 delivers unprecedented innovations in simplicity, resulting in a new solution that uniquely enables a broader population of small businesses to more quickly realize returns on their IT investment while providing new opportunities for channel partners to profitably service an even larger spectrum of small-business customers.”

Revolutionary Innovations in Simplicity

Small-business customers are asking for simple-to-use, yet powerful, ways to secure, organize and manage their business data, communicate, and collaborate, as well as the ability to access their data and applications from wherever they may be. Windows Small Business Server 2003 delivers on these requirements through simplifying important user scenarios, such as providing a 15-minute setup, best practice system configuration, end-to-end data backup process, and out-of-the-box remote-user access.

“Microsoft really built Windows Small Business Server 2003 with simplicity in mind,”
said Frank Leonard of Key Mechanical, a Microsoft Joint Development Program customer in Kent, Wash.
“We’ve been able to drastically improve efficiency in our organization with the added employee communication tools in Small Business Server 2003.”

On Monday, Microsoft announced the release to manufacturing of Microsoft®
Exchange Server 2003. The value of Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003 together in Windows SBS gives small businesses important improvements in information worker productivity, increased system reliability, improved security and spam controls.

Two Editions Provide Customers With Greater Choice

The goal with this release is to deliver a product that, because of its simplicity, is more broadly appealing for small businesses that need to focus on their business, not IT. With the introduction of Windows Small Business Server 2003 Standard and Premium Editions, customers will have even more choice in terms of the right solution for their business needs and demands.

  • Windows Small Business Server 2003 Standard Edition is a new version of Windows Small Business Server consisting of Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003 technology. Standard Edition is the ideal small-business solution for increasing employee productivity through core end-to-end information worker scenarios in a security-enhanced, easy-to-manage system.

  • Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition is built on Windows Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003 technology, and adds Microsoft SQL Server (TM) 2000 together with Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server. Premium Edition provides the same value for information workers with the added functionality from the additional suite components such as SQL Server line-of-business application support.

Channel Readiness Activities Shift Into High Gear

Technology providers in the small-business space need new and innovative ways to add value to the deployments they provide to their customers.

“We see Small Business Server as an important component of our business plan,”
said Frederick Johnson with Ross-Tek in Cleveland, Ohio.
“With the improvements to Windows Small Business Server 2003, there is great opportunity to bring valuable and customized solutions to many of our customers who previously wouldn’t have been exposed to the benefits of server technology.”

To prepare channel partners for the release of Windows SBS and help them meet customer needs, Microsoft is launching a Windows Small Business Server 2003 Partner Training Program that includes a one-hour sales presentation designed to provide partners with information on how to sell Windows Small Business Server 2003. The Windows SBS 2003 Hands-on Lab provides technical training for partners interested in learning Windows SBS 2003 and includes an additional session for system builders focused on the new preinstallation process. The Windows SBS 2003 Partner Training Program is available for partners to attend in person as well as online.

“We’re very excited about the opportunities that Windows Small Business Server 2003 will generate for partners, and we’re committed to working with partners to drive results,”
said Allison Watson, vice president of the Worldwide Partner Sales and Marketing Group at Microsoft.
“Resources like training and sales tools are essential elements in helping our partners grow their businesses, achieve long-term success and provide their customers with comprehensive solutions that solve critical business problems.”

More information on Windows Small Business Server 2003 can be found at .

About Windows Small Business Server 2003

A member of the Microsoft Windows Server family, Windows Small Business Server 2003 is the fourth-generation release tailored specifically to the needs of small businesses. Whether it is the only server or the center of a multiserver network, Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 is the simplest way for small businesses to get the power of Microsoft Windows Server 2003, plus Microsoft server-based solutions for e-mail, fax, database and security technologies to help protect shared Internet access — all as one integrated solution with unified setup and centralized management.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft, Windows and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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