Microsoft on Feb. 20 is spreading its arms to draw its SMB and midmarket servers under one roof, announcing what it's calling a new "family," the Windows Essential Server Solutions family.
The new product family will encompass both the company's small business and its midmarket servers, with licensing and migration paths to ease the move from one to the other. Specifically, the family entails an update to Microsoft's Small Business Server, code-named Cougar, and the company's midmarket server, code-named Centro and now dubbed Microsoft's Windows Essential Business Server.
Microsoft first mentioned Centro in 2005 and then gave more details and a final name for the midmarket server on Nov. 7.
Microsoft's aim is clear: It's after some 31.9 million small businesses and 1.2 million midsize companies worldwide that it claims are "in need of powerful IT solutions" but which lack the staff to get them there, according to Bob Kelly, corporate vice president at Microsoft, as quoted in a release.
Windows Essential Business Server is aimed at midsize businesses with small IT departments, whereas Small Business Server 2008 is aimed at those with basically none at all.