Windows Small Business Server Essentials becomes Windows Server 2012 Essentials

Windows Small Business Server Essentials becomes Windows Server 2012 Essentials

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[Today's post comes to us courtesy David Fabritius from Windows Server Marketing]

Hi everyone,

I'm writing today about a significant milestone for Windows Small Business Server (Windows SBS). With the new Windows Server 2012 line up, Windows Small Business Server Essentials has been renamed Windows Server 2012 Essentials. By making Essentials a full-fledged member of the Windows Server family, we are reaffirming our commitment to delivering a flexible, cloud-enabled server platform that is designed and priced for small businesses and the partners that serve them. Formalizing Essentials as a core edition of Windows Server 2012 will more clearly communicate how it fits into the Windows Server family and give it more visibility as a product.

We believe Windows Server 2012 Essentials is the most affordable and easy-to-use server solution for small businesses to date, helping customers with up to 25 users and 50 devices reduce costs and be more productive. It is an ideal first server, and can also be used as the primary server in a multi-server environment for small businesses. It helps you to protect, centralize, organize, and access your applications and information from almost anywhere by using virtually any device. Additionally, Essentials can grow with the needs of your business over time; you can purchase and convert to Windows Server 2012 Standard, removing the maximum user and device limits while retaining all your data and configuration settings as well as the unique value-add features that Essentials provides.

Windows Server 2012 Essentials has been designed to give you the flexibility to choose which applications and services run on-premises and which run in the cloud. In contrast to Windows SBS Standard, Essentials offers lower up-front acquisition and deployment costs. It allows you to take advantage of cloud-based messaging offerings while enjoying an integrated management experience by subscribing to Office 365 or a hosted Exchange service. If you prefer a fully on-premises solution, you have the option of running Exchange Server on a second server (either as a physical or virtual machine) alongside Essentials with the same integrated management experience.

Windows Server 2012 Essentials can also be used as a platform to run line-of-business applications and other on-premises workloads, as well as to provide an integrated management experience when running cloud-based applications and services, such as email, collaboration, online backup, and more.

Windows SBS 2011 Standard, which includes Exchange Server and SharePoint Foundation, will be the final such Windows SBS offering. It will remain available through the OEM channel until December 31, 2013, and will remain available in all other current channels until June 30, 2013. For additional details, please see the Windows Server 2012 Essentials FAQ. I hope to see you at the 2012 Worldwide Partner Conference starting July 8 in Toronto, Canada, where we’ll be talking more about Windows Server 2012 Essentials, and we’ll also let you know when you can try it out.

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  • This is by FAR the biggest BONE HEAD decision Microsoft has made!  My entire business evolved around SBS and even EBS!  I made significant investment in Time and Money; learning the product, selling the product and supporting the product.  You just wiped out a HUGE SBS community around the world whom like me were devoted SBSers!  I don't know where you get your information, but there is a large group of us out here who have customers who DO NOT WANT CLOUD COMPUTING!  SBS2003 was probably your finest product.  Since then I have watched you pull it apart, shrink its features as it relates to Small Business and in general attempt to Drive us Partners to the Cloud.  Can't you understand some of us don't want to go there?  And the reason we don’t want to go there is BECAUSE our customers don’t want to go there!  I strongly urge you and Microsoft to reconsider this STUPID decision you have made!

  • This is a standard marketing message but I can understand why in the light of Microsoft's forthcoming WPC conference. The 'ideal first server' was, and still is Windows Small Business Server 2011 or a few prior versions still in circulation. The wording used in this blog reflects a lack of consideration for the SBSC and SMB Partners who have shown years of loyalty only to be forced into areas they are either not ready to, or have made the informed choice not to go into. Too much 'telling' and not enough 'selling'.

    Microsoft, if you chose to change tack when it comes to the products and services you deploy, I hope that it also means a change in the way your marketing and sales team interact with your entire Partner community. Better partner profiling, better internal education when it comes to your sales and marketing teams understanding Partner business plans and their environments, as well as more relevant sales and consultative training - all of this needs to be dramatically improved as you disenfranchise the biggest market in place to keep you in the game. There may be louder whispers in the corridor to go direct with more of what you have in your portfolio but that's no reason to irritate the thousands of independent partners who have shown such loyalty so far. Irritated independent partners can always look elsewhere...

  • A lot of us have good reasons to AVOID the cloud... Why push everyone into an environment that is not always the best answer??    A lot of businesses still NEED on premisis exchange, and the cost for providing that functionality has has just gone through the roof.

  • I am kinda torn here...part of me says ABOUT TIME and part of me is a little sadden by this news.  My IT firms never really jumped on the SBS band wagon, it was never truly enough server for the clients we worked with.  But, evolution does happen and eventually everyone's ride must come to an end.  To my friend Susanne, you know that Microsoft never truly got behind the SBSC community, I know this since I have been out of it for a while.  We all showed loyalty to it, true...but did they really care.  After all, they made the same amount of profit selling Windows and Office and this will remain the cornerstone of their business model for years to come.  We know better as I pro's but we are a small amount of their overall revenue.

    Stuart Crawford

    Toronto, ON

    <a href=>MSP Business Consultant</a>

  • I agree with all my fellow SBSer's.  Selling and supporting SBS Standard is my livelihood.  ALL my customers chose the on-premises solution as well.  I do not have a single SBS Essentials deployed.  Now I have to completely restructure my business and explain to my customer’s Microsoft awful decision.  Bring back Bill Gates

    Pete Perry


  • Hey Pete

    I shared a story today on one of my Ulistic webinars about my buddy who does AS400 support.  His livlihood as well..but things change.  I know it hurts but time to move onto something new mate!  SBS was a half decent product...but like my buddy who does AS400 (he still does just a lot less)...he had to pick up something new.

    Stuart Crawford

  • "Windows SBS 2011 Standard, which includes Exchange Server and SharePoint Foundation, will be the final such Windows SBS offering"

    Ok, what is the recommended solution for organizations that have 30-40 users, require Windows Domain, Exchange email, Sharepoint, centralized management, have limited Internet connectivity, and even more limted budgets where the price point is similar to SBS 2011 Standard?

  • Believe me, Stuart, I get it and will adapt.  I have to.  I have before.  In this situation though I disagree with the logic and the taking away the customer's option “to choose” between all on-premises or cloud.

  • There is no choices taken will just be another company name...just not a complete MS solution.  I started with Banyan Vines, then Novell and then Microsoft...what is next?

  • Very short sighted from Microsoft.  Here in the UK we are struggling with decent Internet connections that don't cost the earth.  Office 365 is great for those customers that are start ups, those customers that have 40+ established users it just doesn't make commercial sense.  Microsoft what do you now recommend for these customers?

  • You are nuts ? You decided to kill SBS, fair, but without a solution that SMBs can afford with Exchange on premise, expect our clients to say goodbye to Exchange and welcome to other onsite solutions. Not that we'll push it, be we will have no other solution. Cloud is not a universal solution, we don't have high speed/low cost bandwith everywhere, there are numerous people afraid of Big Brother.  Do you expect to survive WPC angry partners ?  Didn't you realise last year that the only one clapping during plenery session were MS folks ?

  • Microsoft needs to listen to it's partners, we need the choice and cloud and on prem solutions. A lot of customers I work with have 40-60 users and sbs standard was a perfect solution. Now that has been taken away.

    I hope microsoft change their mind on this.. Very bad move indeed

  • I hear is a suitable replacement.

  • Microsoft needs to see the real world where most places do not have the connections needed for cloud usage (aka speed and reliability). But apparently management has just decided to run full speed off the cliff and hope they grow wings.

  • Looking forward to the fallout of all the applications that leverage an on premesis Exchange server.

    Life is going to get costly for the Small Business...

    Because they are obviously the market that can afford it...?!



    Is betrayed too strong a word?