Many of you that have been working with the Beta releases of both Small Business Server 2011 and 2011 Essentials have provided a lot of great feedback as well as shown a lot of excitement around the next generation of updates for the Small Business Server family.   Small Business Server 2011 (SBS2011), starts yet another chapter in the story of the Microsoft Small Business Server solutions that we’ve come to know and love for well over a decade. (Let’s face it, few people claimed to love SBS 4.5)

In this edition, you get the latest and greatest release of Windows Server 2008 R2, Exchange 2010 SP1, and SharePoint 2010 wrapped into an easy to deploy and consume solution.  Some things haven’t changed such as the 75 user limit and the need to purchase a Premium edition if you want to run SQL Server, Terminal Services, or the support of Hyper-V to virtualize your Small Business Server.  Other key components that we’ve come to rely on have seen some significant improvements including the integration of the companyweb site and remote management console for the Partners or savvy business owner that wants the flexibility to manage the server while on site and away from the office. 

If you want to read more about SBS 2011 Standard, you’ll have to access the beta site for a little while longer.   The main webpage is still being refreshed which should go live when the product hits General Availability (GA) sometime in January. 

For those of you waiting to see what’s happening with the newest product in the SBS family, SBS 2011 Essentials (Codename Aurora), we are still waiting on the online services with Office 365 which are slated to launch in 2011.  Talking to the product managers, I’m hopeful we will hear more news about this after the first of the year.

So to keep you informed in what’s coming next, make sure you are following the SBS Team blog as well as the checking the Office 365 website at http://office365.microsoft.com/en-US/online-services.aspx

Enjoy the holidays and get ready for another exciting year of new product launches in 2011 with Microsoft.

Charles Van Heusen - Follow me on Twitter

Partner Technology Advisor | Microsoft U.S. – SMB&D – TS2 Team

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