Small Business Server 2011 and WS 2012 Essentials –your questions answered

Hi All,

As you’d expect there is lots of interest in Small Business Server 2011 and Windows Server 2012 Essentials from the Small Business Community, and during our Partner Business Briefings.  And so I have provided a summary below.

This is by no means definitive, and you can ask questions to our product team at Ask Partner – 0844 800 6006, Option 2 or use the links below for further details..


· As a reminder SBS Standard and SBS Premium Add-on are the SBS editions which have been retired completely.

· SBS Essentials has evolved and is now known as Windows Server 2012 Essentials

Facts about WSE

· WSE is built on the same code base as Windows Server 2012. This enables customers to do direct in place upgrades should they need to migrate to a larger environment

· WSE out of the box support 25 users and 50 devices

· WSE is licensed on server only licensing model. No CALs required.

· WSE is limited to 2 procs and has no virtualization rights

· WSE is a great platform for ISVs and hosters to develop plug-ins and services. One such plug-in is a seamless way to connect WSE with Office365 out of the box.

Key selling points & benefits

· Protect and secure your business data

· Access business resources from virtually anywhere and using almost any device

· Leverage the power of cloud-based services (Office 365)

Value Proposition

WSE offers and affordable first-server option that will support organizations with up to 25 users. It is designed so that it can be deployed and managed by individuals within organizations where there are limited in-house IT skills. It is optimized to let small businesses run applications on-premise or take advantage of the growing number of online versions of email, collaboration, and other software that major companies are already using around the world.

How long will customers be able to purchase Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard?

Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard will remain available through the OEM channel until December 31, 2013, and will remain available in all other current channels until June 30, 2013.  In addition, the Windows Small Business Server 2011 CAL Suite will remain available through the OEM channel until December 31, 2016, and will remain available in all other current channels until June 30, 2016. CALs will no longer be available after those dates.

What happens if a user wants to expand past the 25 user limit, is this possible?

Yes, we now have the ability to do an “In place license transition” which means no more re-building of the server. Customers simply purchase the Windows Server 2012 Standard edition and the corresponding number of CALs for the business. The technical limits are then removed, however all Essentials features are in place to support up to 75 users in the business.

Full WSE FAQ can be downloaded here: Essentials FAQ

Windows Server Essentials product site:



Kind regards,


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