Microsoft will release a public beta of its Small Business Server 7 by the end of September, as it works toward a more cloud-centric server portfolio.
Microsoft will release a public beta of its Small Business Server "7"
by the end of the month, according to the company. That platform is meant to
complement Microsoft's two upcoming servers, code-named Vail and Aurora, which
were released in preview-build form in August.
Like Vail and Aurora, Small
Business Server "7" will likely receive a more formal name ahead of
its release. Microsoft claims the platform will support up to 75 Client Access
Licenses, perform automatic server backups, allow IT administrators to organize
and access files from off-premises, and deploy advanced e-mail and
"We can confirm that SBS 7 will
reach public beta by the end of September," a Microsoft spokesperson e-mailed
to eWEEK Sept. 7. More information about the platform can be found here
The question of an SBS 7 beta was
originally raised by All
About Microsoft's Mary Jo Foley
Microsoft's recent server development clearly shows the influence of the
company's "all in" cloud strategy. Aurora
, which is
targeted at small businesses and supports up to 25 user accounts, includes access
to pay-as-you go online services, along with administrator access from common
Web browsers. Vail, the next version of Microsoft's Windows Home Server,
includes features such as media streaming outside a home or office and improved
multi-PC backup and restore.
However, Microsoft seems to be angling Small Business Server "7"
more as a strict on-premises solution, touting it on a corporate
as "perfect for small businesses who already have a server or
prefer to use email and collaboration tools hosted directly on premise."
has offered no definitive word on a release date for its new server platforms
although the Vail and Aurora
preview builds are presumably much closer to the finished products. In the
meantime, the company has pursued its now-regular strategy of soliciting user
feedback, hoping to iron out as many persistent bugs as possible before the
"You can provide feedback about the new build through our Connect site
and even log ideas or feature suggestions for future versions of Windows Home
Server," Jonas Svensson, Community Program manager for the Windows Home
Server team, wrote
in an Aug. 16 posting on The Windows Blog
Despite its legacy on-premises platforms, Microsoft executives have given
increased attention to the cloud in recent months. "We are going to lead
with the cloud," Microsoft COO Kevin
Turner said during a speech at the company's Financial Analyst Meeting July 29.
"Leading with the cloud actually helps better position Microsoft to sell
more on-premises products than we ever have before ... very strategically it
signals a very clear commitment to our customers and to our partners."
Microsoft's cloud strategy also presents a competitive threat to the likes
of IBM and Novell, among others. However,
cloud initiatives such as Azure, Microsoft's cloud-development platform, have
not yet contributed in any significant way to the company's fiscal bottom line,
which is still fed by traditional software platforms such as Windows 7.
One can presume, though, that future releases of Microsoft's server products
will embrace cloud functionality more and more, in keeping with a strategy that
also sees the company's business clients handing over their IT administration
and infrastructure to Microsoft's remote services.