In an announcement today regarding the future of our MidMarket Server Suite, Essentials Business Server, the future development of the product will be discontinued as of June 2010. For those Partners serving the SMB market, your favorite server for the SMB market, SBS, will continue to move forward and I can assure you a new version is under development with forthcoming news to come in the weeks and months ahead.
For those of you who have adopted the EBS platform, I have some notes from the announcement to share with you regarding your support of the EBS 2008 Product that will be listed below. For the full story, visit the EBS Team blog at http://blogs.technet.com/essentialbusinessserver/default.aspx
Q & A:
Q: I studied and passed the Windows Essential Business Server (EBS) certification. Does this mean the skills I learned to achieve the certification are no longer useful?
A: The Microsoft products included in EBS will continue to be sold separately, as standalone products, after EBS is discontinued. As a result, almost all of the skills required to achieve EBS certification will transfer to associated products like Windows Server, Exchange Server, System Center products, and Forefront services.
Q. How will this affect my Microsoft Partner program competency status?
A: Partners will be given options for transitioning to the appropriate competency. At re-enrollment, partners will need to pick a new exam (e.g. one from products like Windows Server, System Center, or Forefront).
Q. I have been an EBS partner, what should I recommend to my customers now?
A: Windows EBS was based off the core IO model. Partners can still implement the core IO model by implementing standalone products according to the capability maturity model by workload of core IO. For more details on Core IO, please visit: http://microsoftio.partnersalesresources.com/coreio.aspx
Q. I just bought EBS. Should I stop deploying it or move to another set of products?
A: There is no reason why you cannot or should not move forward and deploy it. Microsoft will continue to support EBS 2008 through the normal product lifecycle. EBS 2008 is a suite that includes several individual products, each with different support lifecycles. So support will last through 2017 for some components and through 2018 for others. For more detailed information on the lifecycle for the EBS 2008 suite, customers can go to http://www.support.microsoft.com/lifecycle. If you acquired EBS with OEM hardware, Contact the manufacturer of your server hardware that came with EBS for the OEM’s support policies.
Q: If I am an existing EBS 2008 customer, what happens now?
A: Your EBS 2008 product will still receive support through the normal product life cycle. Because EBS 2008 is a suite that includes several individual products, each with different support lifecycle, support will last through 2017 for some components and through 2018 for others. For more detailed information on the lifecycle for the EBS 2008 suite, customers can go to http://www.support.microsoft.com/lifecycle. If you acquired EBS with OEM hardware, please contact the manufacturer of your server hardware that came with EBS for their support policies.
Next, we recognize that discontinuing EBS could result in additional cost and complexity for customers when they decide to upgrade. Because of this we are going to provide a one-time limited offer for all EBS 2008 customers. Beginning on June 30, 2010 until December 31, 2010, current EBS 2008 customers can get most of the individual component software from the suite for free (local taxes, shipping and handling charges may apply). This means EBS 2008 customers can get copies of Windows Server 2008 Standard, Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Standard and Microsoft System Center Essentials 2007. To learn more about this offer, EBS customers should visit www.microsoft.com/ebs
Q: What are you doing for EBS Volume licensing customers who purchased Software Assurance?
A: EBS customers who purchased Software Assurance will be able to take advantage of the same offer listed above and will also receive next versions of individual software products from the suite. For EBS 2008 standard customers, those products include: Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard, Exchange Server 2010 Standard, System Center Essentials Standard 2010 and Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010. EBS 2008 Premium customers who have purchased Software Assurance will also be entitled to SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard edition. For more information go to http://www.microsoft.com/ebs
Q: Will I be able to purchase more CALs for EBS 2008?
A: Yes, customers can continue to purchase EBS 2008 CALs from either the Microsoft Volume Licensing program or through Microsoft partners. For more information go to: http://www.microsoft.com/ebs
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Related and Future Content:
Link to EBS blog: http://blogs.technet.com/essentialbusinessserver/default.aspx