The marketing elves have been hard at work in Redmond and have come up with the official name for Microsoft’s “Centro” mid-market server bundle: Windows Essential Business Server:
There are approximately 1.4 million midsized businesses in the world and their IT needs are unique. But in order to maintain growth, they require the same powerful technology solutions used by large companies. To address this need, Microsoft is developing an integrated IT solution for midsized organizations, previously known by the codename “Centro.” Today Microsoft unveiled the product’s official name, “Windows Essential Business Server,” and announced its key components and features, as well as an initial set of industry partners planning to support this new solution.
Windows Essential Business Server is slated for availability in the second half of 2008, as part of the Windows Server 2008 “wave” of products. The product is currently in private beta. Information about participating is here. We anticipate making a public beta available in the first half of 2008.
See Microsoft’s overview of Essential Business Server features for more details but the basic idea is that a mid-sized business (with 75-250 PCs) would buy the package and the requisite number of unified CALs (client access licenses) and install it on the required 3 servers (4 for the Premium edition with database) to provide the foundation on which to build their business IT systems.
The advantage over merely acquiring the pieces separately is the reduced price for the Essential Business Server bundle and the special streamlined administration that is part of the package. The difficulty is that a mid-sized business almost certainly has an IT infrastructure already in place and if it is not already Microsoft-based, it’s hard to sell them this big a package without them having a strong and avowed interest in conversion.