[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.