The official blog for Windows Server Essentials and Small Business Server support and product group communications.
[Today's post comes to us courtesy David Fabritius from Windows Server Marketing]
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.
@Sandeep. End of 2013, not end of 2012.
I'm talking about what I will use in 2014 or 2015 when I need to retiremy SBS 2011 that I'll most likely install now instead of the "new" 2012 product.
I am sys admin and frankly I think its the dumbest decision ever made done to date. Its about as a good decision of putting Metro on server 2012. Was that wind bag moron ms ceo behind this decision as well?
Boneheads - This now makes the ISP a critical provider, when before they were a luxury.
Forced Metro, forced cloud.. what's up at Redmond in 2012? It looks as if Sinofksy & Ballmer base all their decisions on shiny articles at zdnet, theverge and cnet. If some washed up tech journalists hypes something, then the "new Microsoft" needs to immediately kill off/cripple their decade(s) old existing and sucessful products to catch the fads and hypes. Customers be damned. It's downright scary.
This is NO Option ... Small businesses have not always the best connection to the internet. I can not afford to be offline with E-mail and have the Mailsystem in the cloud - my customers will fire me. My customers also do not want and allow by law to have the email system in the cloud ... I will have to use NON Microsoft products to stay in business ... good bye from germany
A little surprised by the decision. But the more i think about it, the more sense it makes.
to Microsoft -
How do we increase the uptake for Office365? Kill the lowest cost alternative to it. SBS 2011. If customers want On Premise, they can get it still but it'll be via a separate exchange server.
to the Partners -
Evolution of our businesses is NEVER a bad thing. For a decade now we've gotten comfortable selling the same thing the same way. Why haven't our customers (or Us) adopted more Cloud offerings? Aside from some with technical reasons it's because we haven't had too, Well, i think that time has come, an additional $1500+ in CapEx to get in house Exchange just made Hosted Exchange a lot more appealing. We'll get recurring revenue, and we can still manage it for our clients. Just because the server doesn't live in the office doesn't mean the end user is any more interested in managing it themselves.
For the record, i don't find Office 365 to be the right answer either. So far, i am much happier with Intermedia. Bigger feature set, white-labeled solution, and I STILL OWN THE CLIENT...
to the Client -
Okay, so admittedly for some clients this becomes a tougher sale. For others it's a no-brainer (that many resellers have happily ignored in pursuit of higher $ sales). The server requirements get lighter, the upfront costs go down, the overall reliability goes up. [Yes, i know there have been some widely publicized cloud outages recently, but to the individual consumer its really no different than if the local utility loses power once or twice a year. Or their ISP has an outage.]
Overall, i understand there is a lot of apprehension to this decision, but I for one am looking forward to this next evolution.
The cloud is an option IF you have an ISP that is reliable and fast enough. Many of our clients (even in Phoenix, Arizona) do not have cloud supportable ISP connections so SBS was the choice to provide them service and quality results. Forcing everyone to the cloud will not work. Period. This is obviously a decsion made by out of touch people in a city with big bandwidth. They obviosly did not look at their true client base or infrastructure. NOT A GOOD CHOICE by MS. We need the on premise options provided by SBS at the price point that made clients choose Microsoft products. Forcing clients to expensive choices will only result in current dedicated SBS technicians to begin offering other vendor products.
MS really needs to reconsider this decision! Are they trying to push SBS customers to Linux and Google? There are a number of things that the cloud can never offer that SBS provides. Without these benefits there will be little reason for small companies to use MS Office products. The costs and complexity of a multi-server configuration will prevent it when free solutions can do the same thing, minus the SBS benefits.
There are many reasons that small businesses don’t want to move to the cloud. Security, Local Control, Local backup, Storage capacity , Privacy, etc. Until we all have Gigabit fiber at home and even afterwards there will be a need for small companies to have onsite storage and control of their most important information, including Messaging, Central user control and Intranet. The SBS product they now use will need to be replaced with something else, provided by someone else, who will reap the benefits down the road.
SBS has been the server that small business have started with for years. Killing SBS is like trying to have full grown trees without the seeds, or have children without the messy infant and toddler stage. It looks nice to marketing and management types but it is not possible. The next generation will start leaving MS at a faster pace if there is no reason to stay.
Video Killed the rockstar..
Spent all my working years with SBS. bad news.
This seems premature. They didn't have to announce this until next year at the earliest (when partners would begin to seriously ask about the SBS roadmap). So why announce it now? My guess is that MS is very concerned about cloud competition, and not in terms of end users but rather partners. They clearly want to force partners to learn to implement Office365 NOW, not 12 months from now. Why? Because partners will implement what they have learned to implement. Change is hard. Once they start with Office365 they are unlikely to start dealing with similar services from Google or Amazon or others. This is about getting partners onboarded into the Office 365 ecosystem NOW.
Dropping SBS for small businesses is a very poor decision and gives us no real choice which I guess is what Microsoft wants. Forcing cloud 365 email is not right. The hard stop limits on sending emails when you have over 1500 “recipients” (where internal email counts as well as external) is a deal killer. [By the way, recipients counts everyone on an email - and no, you cannot set up all private distribution lists in the Global Address List open to everyone as a way around it] You cannot tell the people, sorry, wait 24 hours and then you can send another email. Saying this is “fighting spam” is just plain stupid. Just this one thing about 365 shows that people are not right in the head at Microsoft. Oh yeah, to fix this, now I can license the full std server and buy Exchange separately; great deal for small businesses. There are other limits in 365 as well that are not good; the email limit is the worst especially with no recourse or way to unblock it when needed (lets say for the owner of the business for one).
What a disastrous move by Microsoft.... Killing off SBS and your grassroots IT Evangelists in one fell swoop.
Microsoft simply does not “get” how the SMB market work.... Our customers will NOT suddenly jump to the cloud.... In a large city we have 2 ISP options.... Local Phone company and Time Warner Cable.
Good luck keeping your “cloud” available on that! Not to mention the regulatory, support and other issues of “trusting” the cloud with our customer’s data.
Microsoft needs to listen to it's SBS parters, this is a very made move for the reasons stated in all the comments so far.
If microsoft FORCE me to move my clients to Office 365 instead of giving us the choice then i will find alternative solutions. I'm sure a lot of people feel the same way.
Microsoft has been warned
Still no word on what might be "the most affordable and easy-to-use server solution for small businesses" with more than 25 users...or those who don't want (or don't have the option) to pay for a nice fat pipe to The High Holy Cloud. I have a feeling that this solution, whatever it may be and whenever it may materialize, will not have Microsoft's logo on it.