New Information About SBS 2003 R2

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Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2

Published: December 6, 2005

Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 (SBS 2003 R2) is an update release to the award-winning SBS 2003 product, providing new features to address the growing needs of small businesses. Scheduled to release-to-manufacturing in the second quarter of 2006, SBS 2003 R2 will offer small businesses the following benefits to help them increase their productivity:

Automated, network-wide patch and update management for all Microsoft Update supported products (see FAQ), lowering the costs of managing a Microsoft-based network and helping to maintain a more secure infrastructure

Increased mailbox limits from 16 GB to 75 GB, enabling improved productivity for employees

Inclusion of SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition technology in SBS 2003 R2 Premium Edition

Expanded client access license (CAL) rights, including access to additional Exchange Server 2003 and SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition servers in the SBS 2003 R2 network, allowing customers more flexibility in growth

Once available (RTM slated for Q2 2006), SBS 2003 R2 may be obtained through the following channels:

SBS customers with Software Assurance* will be able to obtain SBS 2003 R2 without purchasing a new server license** for a nominal shipping and handling fee.

SBS customers without Software Assurance will be able to purchase a new version upgrade SKU via retail, which will enable them to cost-effectively upgrade from any version of SBS (4.0, 4.5, 2000, 2003) to SBS 2003 R2.

In addition, Microsoft plans to offer a “Technology Guarantee” program ***, beginning March 1, 2006 for customers who purchase SBS 2003 from an original equipment manufacturer or a system builder. Customers that purchase SBS 2003 prior to March 1, 2006 should consider purchasing Software Assurance so they can obtain SBS 2003 R2.

See our FAQ for more information. Check back for further updates.

*Software Assurance contract must be active when SBS 2003 R2 releases-to-manufacturing.
**The purchase of new client access licenses (CALs) will not be required with SBS 2003 R2.
***The Technology Guarantee will be available from March 1, 2006 to 60 days after SBS 2003 R2 releases-to-manufacturing (will vary by geography).

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  • With the current version of SBS2003 Premium, SQL server has access to Analysis Services and Reporting Services. These two add ons are available via download for free, they are not "out of the box". However, it appears that these two parts are not available with R2 for SBS.

    If this is true, it puts a real damper on 50% of my business. Almost 100% of my company's SBS implementaions is Premium Edition. The two things that make this easy is ISA and SQL. The SQL portion is sold as a means for a company to get at accounting data, inventory, sales, contacts, etc. in an OLAP cube via Outlook. Not only that, but for the executive level Reporting SErvices is a nice feature.

    I may be ranting for nothing, but to EXclude features or current functionality still available seems a little backwards. Not only that, it's going to hurt my business.

    Please tell me that I'm not right in what I'm thinking with the release of SBS R2 and SQL Workgroup Edition!

  • Greg,

    I appreciate the feedback and have forwarded it on to the appropriate people. SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition is the data management and reporting solution for the smaller organization. In SBS 2003 R2 Premium Edition, Reporting Services (including a new end-user reporting tool, Report Builder), Management Studio, CLR integration, native database encryption are key SQL Server 2005 capabilities that were not part of the SQL Server 2000 offering with SBS 2003 Premium. What is not present in SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition is Analysis Services. Based on customer feedback and research, it was determined that more SBS customers would benefit from having Reporting Services and the decision was made to add Reporting Services to SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition and remove Analysis Services.


  • Mark,

    Thank you for responding to my post. You've put me a little bit at ease.

    In terms of Analysis Services, will it be available via download much like it is today or will it be exclusive to the next version up from Workgroup Edition.

    Thanks again for your response and clarification on this matter.



  • Analysis Services won't be a separate download for SQL Server 2005. There are a couple of offerings that don't have all of the details worked out yet. The first is SQL downgrade rights, which would allow you to run SQL 2000 on an SBS 2003 R2 box. The second is a Version Upgrade SKU (VUP) that will allow you to upgrade from Workgroup Edition to Standard Edition in order to use the more advanced features. Details are preliminary for right now (obviously). More information will be available at as SBS 2003 R2 gets closer to release next year.

  • Mark,

    Great news! Thanks for the update. I look forward to reading more about these offerings as information is available.

    Thanks again for taking such a proactive stance on this blog site and this post in particular.

    Merry Christmas,


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