I’d like to do two things right off the bat in this, my first, blog post here…
1) Announce that Windows Essential Business Server 2008 has reached RTM! (English now, more languages to come soon)
2) Extend my sincere gratitude to the many customers, MVPs, users, partners and enthusiasts that helped us build what we hope proves to be an exceptional product. Thank you.
The team (at Microsoft and extended by the community mentioned above) has been hard at work on this for a long time - Beta 1 shipped in December 2006 – and we’re now very close to general availability (GA) when we’ll have the privilege of hearing from customers what they like and what we can make better. The final step in release comes with our November 12 product launch (previously announced), which kicks-off GA. See Eric Watson’s earlier blog entry describing the difference between the RTM and GA milestones.
Our #1 goal with EBS has always been to increase the satisfaction of our customers in midsize businesses – giving them a better experience and helping them to leverage the full value of their IT investment. We believe we can do that by tailoring our software to their specific needs, practices and preferences. The challenge is to take complicated technologies designed for the enterprise and make them more easily consumed by companies without enterprise-size resources. To succeed in this we knew we’d have to stop talking and start listening. We have put what I believe is an unprecedented effort into learning about our midsize business customers/users; really getting to know what they need, like and don’t like. These activities weren’t just limited to a few program/product managers and UX researchers – the entire team got immersed and it went well beyond the typical betas, TAP programs and newsgroups we always run (although we had those too)… The team also assembled customer advisory boards that helped us make decisions about the product. We visited hundreds of customers around the world in their businesses and got to know them in their environment and we interacted with thousands more in various other ways to discover what we should be doing and then to test, refine and validate our designs. We also integrated Microsoft’s MVPs and leading SMB VAP/VARs into everything we did in product development. These two groups of professionals contributed a ton in making EBS a better product right out of the gate. In whole, we worked with an amazing collection of people and I know the product is much better than we could have made without their help. We are very proud of this collaboration and approach to designing and building software.
For midsize businesses, I’m confident that EBS is the best way to buy this software – Windows Server, Exchange, SQL Server, System Center Essentials (SCE), Forefront Security for Exchange and Forefront Threat Management Gateway. Whether it’s the integration and pre-configuration to best practices that’s baked-in; the vastly simplified and accelerated setup and migration, with a minimum of configuration needed; the defense-in-depth security included in the box; the EBS unified administration experience (with SCE) that gives the user one place to monitor system health and perform daily administration tasks across their entire environment; or the single/consolidated EBS license (including a new EBS license management system) and ~30% price discount our customers will find reason to be happier and we will achieve our goal. EBS will give them a confident, reliable and ready IT platform in service of their growing business needs and time back for the IT administrator to focus strategically, not just reactively.
As I said, we’ll soon know as we hear from customers and we can’t wait! Eric Kidd – General Manager EBS
As I said, we’ll soon know as we hear from customers and we can’t wait!
Eric Kidd – General Manager EBS
A couple of things you might like to check-out:
The EBS Preparation Wizard - scans your existing network environment for health and EBS pre-requisites - available as a download Bjorn Levidow, EBS Lead Program Manager, gives the inside story on migration to EBS...
The EBS Preparation Wizard - scans your existing network environment for health and EBS pre-requisites - available as a download
Bjorn Levidow, EBS Lead Program Manager, gives the inside story on migration to EBS...
EBS migration interview and RTM