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

  • What about TMG?

    I decidid to buy EBS because of the integrated Security Solution - what will i use if i trade-in EBS?

    Is it possible to upgrade to SCE2010 and Exchange2010 without SA?

  • That´s really to sad! It was a great product, I loved it. Is there any technical update solution to the full versions of Windows Serv er 2008 R2, Exchange 2010 or TMG?

  • @fope

    SA customers will receive TMG 2010.  If you don't have SA, it will be possible to purchase TMG 2010  separately and transfer your settings, but my current understanding is that non-SA customers will not receive a stand-alone copy of TMG MBE.


  • Robert,

    There will be a detailed migration document.  Because of the EBS licensing enforcement, you will have to complete the migration within 28 days to avoid shutting down.  More details to come.


  • Robert,

    Nothing ominous here, we just don't have a complete set of details ready to share here.  The FAQ ( is the best guidance we have for now:


    This means EBS 2008 customers can get copies of Windows Server 2008 Standard, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Standard and Microsoft System Center Essentials 2007. To learn more about this offer, EBS customers should visit the EBS Promotions and Offers page.


    For EBS 2008 Standard customers, those products include: Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard, Exchange Server 2010 Standard, System Center Essentials Standard 2010 and Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010.  EBS 2008 Premium customers who have purchased Software Assurance will also be entitled to SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard edition.



  • Paul,

    This is addressed in the FAQ.  There will be a technical upgrade path for existing customers.


  • Josef,

    You are correct that there are two upgrade options for SA and non-SA customers.  To get TMG 2010, you'll need to purchase SA for your EBS installation.


  • Mark,

    Any thoughts on how the license may transfer for those of us who were in the TAP program and acquired our EBS via the TAP program (without SA).



  • Mark, any thoughts as to licensing and those of us who participated in the TAP program?

    As you know we acquired the EBS licenses as part of the participation in the program, without SA.  I, for one, let some of my SA lapse as I planned on upgrading EBS when the time came.



  • Grrrr, This really irks me. I am sure a cut off like this has been in the works for awhile. I just barely ordered all the equipment just for this and got it going. I had toyed with the idea of using the standalone products. Shame on me for believing this product had a life. I know it has 5 years of support but we'll see what that means. Also if I paid to have TMG MBE why won't the standalone include that?

  • I didn´t find the link for the Whitepaper for trhe technical update. The licensing and the way to Exchange 2010, Windows Server 2008 R2, etc. are crystal clear, but the way how to do it, Update Exchange first ort Windows 2008 first or parallel installation or so on, is not so clear. I will preserve most of the good things of the EBS - and yes, there are a lot of things, without loosing the features of the new version.

    Please, I apologice for my question, but I´m really sick (I have a bad, bad cold) and doubtfully blind to not find the link.



  • Bob,

    My understanding is that there won't be a special offer for v1 TAP participants.


  • @Todd,

    The offer gives you an alternative to running EBS in production.  The product will continue to be fully supported until 2017 (2018 for some components).  Upgrading to standard version products is just one option.


  • I can hardly believe the mid-market wants its data to dissapear in "the cloud". We already had this hype called ASP about ten years ago.

    In fact it is just a question of money. You can still have everything that is in EBS, you just have to pay much more. I am happy we didn´t migrate our customers to EBS last year. Microsoft products are dying fast these days this is really frightening.

    Good luck to the EBS team and thank you for your work.


    - excuse my english, i am german -

  • Paul,

    You're not missing anything - the paper is not available yet.  We'll post an update to this site when it is ready closer to 6/30.


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