Microsoft is hosting some 400 of its small and midsize customers and partners at its Redmond, Wash., campus on March 14 as part of its inaugural Small Business Summit titled "Take Your Business to the Next Level."
Aside from the campus event March 14, Microsoft staff members will also host more than 40 online sessions over the rest of the week as part of the summit, for which some 10,000 people have signed up.
Kevin Turner, Microsofts chief operating officer and former executive vice president of Wal-Mart Stores, will give the opening keynote, as well as talk up its Small Business Server 2003 R2, which is due this summer and based on the Windows Server 2003 R2 operating-system build.
Turner will show the R2 user interface and some features, Steven VanRoekel, the senior director of Microsofts Windows Server Solutions team, told eWEEK.
SBS is a bundle of several different server-based products.
Included in the SBS 2003 version are Windows Server 2003; Windows SharePoint Services; SQL Server 2000; Exchange Server 2003; and ISA Server 2000.
Click hereto read more about Microsofts Small Business Server 2003 R2.
The product comes in two flavors: Standard and Premium.
"The one feature we are most excited about and are going to talk a lot more about, starting at this event, is the Green Check--a technology that makes SBS control all of a users network-wide patching and update management, not only for the server but for all the desktops attached to that server," VanRoekel said.
Users will receive a daily e-mail that gives an update on the health of their system.
If all the items in that report are checked in green, they will know that all their systems are patched and up-to-date.
If some items are yellow, they will be told how to get the patch and update the system themselves, he said.
The current patching and update process is more manual and has been changed to provide small business customers with the confidence that comes with the Green Check and knowing their systems are current.
"This is all about ease-of-use for them," he said.