Microsoft Announces Public Preview and Pricing for Windows Essential Server Solutions

REDMOND, Wash. — May 13, 2008 — Customers and Microsoft Corp. partners can now find out how to evaluate pre-release versions of Windows Essential Server Solutions for small and midsize companies: Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008. Microsoft also today announced pricing for both solutions.

By combining Microsoft technologies such as Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, SQL Server 2008 and other Microsoft products and services into all-in-one IT solutions, Windows Essential Server Solutions help businesses improve efficiency, increase productivity and drive growth. The solutions also are ideal for technology advisors serving the increasingly sophisticated IT needs of small and midsize customers.

“Small and midsize companies are looking for many of the same IT capabilities and benefits as those sought by large enterprises,” said Ray Boggs, vice president Small/Medium Business Research at IDC. “But the technology has to be delivered as part of simpler, integrated and more affordable solutions for organizations with minimal IT staffs and resources. And of course it helps if solutions are also tailored to meet the needs of technology consultants that often work with those small and midsize firms.”

Beta Program Participants Already Seeing Value

A number of customers and partners already have been privately testing Windows Essential Server Solutions, providing valuable feedback to Microsoft. They already are reporting great benefits, too.

Sumeeth Evans is director of IT for Collegiate Housing Services, a company that coordinates student housing for colleges. He said, “With Essential Business Server 2008, our administrative workload is one-tenth of what it was before. This is the largest step forward we have ever seen in terms of our ability to focus technology on real business needs.”

Dave Benson is founder and chief financial officer of Epicurean Cutting Surfaces, which creates popular kitchen cutting boards and utensils using sustainable materials. He said, “Small Business Server 2008 is advanced software that eliminates a lot of wasted time and allows us to focus on our business goals and to sell globally.”

Erik Thorsell, president of Success Computer Consulting in Minneapolis, said, “Small Business Server 2008 and Essential Business Server 2008 are both designed with me and my clients in mind. They make it easy for me to give my customers the freedom to work effectively from home or on the road.”

Solutions Designed and Priced for Small and Midsize Businesses

Slated for general availability later this year, Windows Essential Server Solutions are much easier for small and midsize companies to implement and manage than separate products. In response to customer and partner feedback, Windows Essential Server Solutions provide flexible pricing and licensing that offer substantial cost savings over purchasing individual products like those included in the solutions. Examples of licensing improvements over the current Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 product include these:

  • Customers will be able to purchase single client access licenses (CALs), so they will pay only for the exact number of employees using the product.

  • Customers can cost-effectively purchase a mix of Standard or Premium CALs, as appropriate to the technologies that individual employees are using.

  • CALs now apply to other copies of Windows Server, SQL Server or Exchange Server on the network, eliminating the need to purchase additional CALs.

Also, Small Business Server 2008 Premium Edition includes additional Windows Server 2008 Standard technologies with SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition for Small Business, making it an ideal platform for critical business applications.

Windows Essential Server Solutions pricing* is as follows:

  • Windows Small Business Server 2008 Standard Edition software, including five CALs, $1,089 (U.S.); additional CALs $77 each (U.S.)

  • Windows Small Business Server 2008 Premium Edition software, including five CALs, $1,899 (U.S.); additional CALs $189 each (U.S.)

  • Windows Essential Business Server 2008 Standard Edition software, including five CALs, $5,472 (U.S.); additional CALs $81 each (U.S.)

  • Windows Essential Business Server 2008 Premium Edition software, including five CALs, $7,163 (U.S.); additional CALs $195 each (U.S.)

Microsoft also today announced rebates of up to $200 (U.S.) for solution provider partners configuring Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 for their clients who acquire the software and purchase Software Assurance within a certain time period. With Software Assurance, customers will receive the upgrade to Small Business Server 2008 at no additional cost when it is available, as well as access to support, tools and training. Terms and conditions of the rebates are available at

More information about the products, pricing and beta customer feedback is available at More information for journalists is available at

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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* Estimated retail prices. Actual prices may vary.

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