New IT Trends Bring Change to Mid-Market Product Line

New IT Trends Bring Change to Mid-Market Product Line

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Four years ago, we committed to building an infrastructure solution for the mid-market. Windows Essential Business Server (EBS) which was the first of its kind to meet the unique needs of mid-market IT pros. Since that time the market landscape has naturally changed.

Today, we announced the decision to streamline our server product portfolio and will discontinue future development of EBS, effective June 30th, 2010.

Since the launch of EBS, several changes have occurred that drove our decision to streamline our server product portfolio. First, midsize businesses are rapidly turning to technologies such as management, virtualization and cloud computing as a means to cut costs, improve efficiency, and increase competitiveness. Those capabilities are already available through other offerings, including Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft System Center and the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS).

Secondly, Microsoft remains fully committed to small and medium-sized businesses. We recognize that ending future editions of EBS could result in additional cost and complexity for our EBS customers. Therefore, we are going to provide a limited offer for all EBS 2008 customers. Beginning on June 30, 2010 through December 31, 2010, current EBS 2008 customers can get the individual component software from the EBS 2008 suite for free (local taxes, shipping and handling charges may apply). To learn more about this offer, EBS customers can visit

This decision not to ship future versions of EBS does not come lightly and will not impact any other Windows Server products and solutions, including the next version of Windows Small Business Server (SBS).  As a matter of fact, we are working hard to build the next version of SBS and look forward to a second decade of success with this award winning small business offering.  

There is a tremendous amount of talent and expertise on the EBS product development team and Microsoft is committed to transitioning members of the EBS product team to work on other projects within the Microsoft Server and Cloud division.

Finally, in building these products for midsize customers we’ve had the unique opportunity to work closely with customers and partners worldwide. We would like to sincerely thank those of you who provided feedback, participated in the development, and used Windows Essential Business Server.

We look forward to continuing to provide world-class Microsoft solutions for the future!

More Information:

Current EBS customers can look forward to a support cycle that holds true to the Microsoft five-year mainstream and five-year extended support lifecycle. All service packs will also be supported according to lifecycle support. For more detailed information, please visit

For customers interested in transitioning off of EBS, we will offer a six-month promotion where customers can migrate to many of the stand-alone products included in EBS 2008. For more details on the offer, please go to

Customers with Software Assurance will be offered an open agreement to receive the license for many stand-alone products that would have been included in EBS 2010. Customers who do not have Software Assurance will have the option to take advantage of the offer which begins on June 30, 2010 through December 31, 2010. For more details on the offer, go to

For more information about this decision, please visit

  • Kudos to the EBS product team, a great group of smart and enthusiastic professionals.  I wish you all the best in your future endeavors at Microsoft, and I'm looking forward to seeing what's next!

  • I have been part of the EBS team before and I am shocked when I read this. The EBS Team has done a great job so far and I wish them Best of Luck in future endeavors!!!

  • This is disheartening to say the least... I *just* got EBS installed and running, and was starting to be pleased with it...

    Haven't even fully "gotten to green yet"...

    *grumble* *grumble*

    I guess there isn't much point of purchasing SA on it now...

  • Roger,

    Just to be clear, we will continue to support EBS 2008 through 2017/2018 (depending on the component), so nothing fundamentally changes from that perspective.

    There is actually a very good reason to buy SA - EBS customers who purchased Software Assurance will be able to take advantage of the same offer detailed above and will also receive next versions of individual software products from the suite.

    Hope this helps,


  • To be clear on the offer.  Where it says

    "Beginning on June 30, 2010 through December 31, 2010, current EBS 2008 customers can get the individual component software from the EBS 2008 suite for free"

    Does that include user and device CALS, or just server CALS?

  • Jay,

    The EBS CALs will cover access to Windows Server, Exchange, and SCE even after the EBS Servers are decommissioned.  You won't need to purchase new CALs for existing EBS clients.

    Hope this helps,


  • Is this really going to cloud or appliances?  I keep running into the IBM Foundations appliance everywhere and I think SMBs just care about simple.

    I want to add my thanks to the EBS team... you guys were great and we are going to miss you.  Best of luck in whatever is next for you!

  • Hopefully, ISA/TMG will move back to the Premium SKU of SBS 2008 R2 or we will lose a SKU with TMG/ISA.

  • @Carl - Thanks for the kind words.  Microsoft is betting big on the cloud.  If you haven't already seen it, SteveB gave an inspiring talk recently that's worth checking out to hear his vision:


  • @7flavoe - Unfortunately, we can't talk about the next version of SBS yet.  As soon as we have more to share, we'll update and the FAQ (


  • Hi there,

    what's about TMG? The offer will have Windows Server, Exchange and SCE, but how can customers transfer the Security Server?

    Thanks, Peter Forster, MVP Virtual Machine, Austria

  • Having been an Intern last summer in the EBS team, this news is a big shock to me. Hope everyone I know in the team moves on to bigger, greater things. Luckily I'll be seeing some of you next summer; I'll be an SDET Intern in Office.

  • Is there going to be an easy method of in situ migration for moving to the individual programs, without EBS complaining about compliance or shutting things down?

  • What does the ominous use of "many of" in the statement

    "customers can migrate to many of the stand-alone products included in EBS 2008" mean?  What products will not be included.  The website only quotes "Windows Server 2008 Standard, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Standard and Microsoft System Center Essentials 2007" it does not mention Forefront or Sharepoint.

  • I think it is a sad day, for this great product.  I have been running EBS since February 15 2008 and are very pleased.  All the best to the great people of the EBS team.

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