Windows SBS 2003 On Tap

Microsoft Corp. will on Tuesday announce the release candidate for its Windows Small Business Server 2003.

Microsoft Corp. will on Tuesday announce the release candidate for its Windows Small Business Server 2003, the latest product in the Windows Server 2003 server family headed for release.

Microsoft will also be introducing a new standard version of the product, which will be in addition to the premium version that is similar to the current product in terms of component technologies, Katy Hunter, the group product manager for Microsofts Windows Server division, told eWeek in an interview on Monday.

The premium version will include technologies like SQL Server 2000 and Microsofts Internet, Security and Acceleration Server (ISA), as well as a copy of Front Page.

Microsoft will only announce pricing for the small business server when it releases the product to manufacturing. The final product will ship within three days of the release of Office 2003, which is scheduled for release late this summer.

The Small Business Server release was built as a complete server solution and comes with integrated Exchange 2003 technologies as well as a Windows SharePoint services site that has been expanded into a full intranet solution. "Mainly, with the incorporation of Exchange technologies and Outlook and SharePoint, we have to rely on the Office release schedule, which is what we did," she said.

Microsoft on Monday also made the Office System Beta 2 technical refresh available to all 600,000 beta 2 testers via download at http://officebeta.microsoft.com/officeupdate.

Users of the Small Business Server who do not immediately upgrade to Office 2003 will not lose many features or functionality in Small Business Server 2003 as there is only an incremental benefit to using Office 2003. "We deliver them the Outlook 2003 client, so from the Exchange solution perspective you are getting the 2003 version," she said.