Today in his keynote address at the Microsoft® Worldwide Partner Conference 2006, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced the launch of Windows® Small Business Server 2003 R2 and unveiled new pricing details for the product. Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 is an advanced solution for productivity and security designed specifically to meet the needs of small-business owners, many of which do not currently have a server.
Available for purchase starting in August, Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition will be available for an estimated retail price (ERP) of $599 and Premium Edition will be available for $1,299 ERP, over a 13 percent price reduction as compared with Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition. Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 will also be available pre-installed later this summer through original equipment manufacturers, including Dell Inc., Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Gateway Inc., HP and IBM, and will be available in 18 languages.
If you aren’t familiar with SBS, check out the Web site for more details, but it always struck me as fairly heavy duty to be someone’s “first” server unless it was sold and maintained through a VAR which is why the launch is appropriate at a partners conference. Whatever the scenario, it always has represented a good price point for a small Microsoft-centric installation. Note also the versioning oddities mentioned at the first link above – despite the name, Small Business Server 2003 R2 is built on Windows Server 2003 SP1 not Windows Server 2003 R2.