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Windows Server 2008 bundles get first 'public' airing

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Microsoft today announced that it will launch a “public preview” program for two of its first Windows Server 2008-based bundles.

The software giant is targeting one package at the small business market, where Microsoft has been heavily foraging, while the other will be aimed at mid-sized firms.

Windows Small Business Server 2008 (SBS) and Windows Essential Business Server (EBS) 2008 will both be made available over the coming weeks to customers and partners who fancy dabbling with candidate release versions of the operating systems.

Redmond, which announced in February that it planned to split its Server 2008 product for the increasingly lucrative SMB market, said it will bundle the server OSes with Exchange Server and other software in an effort to punt low-cost, easy-to-install packages at the little guys.

Windows SBS 2008, including five CALs, comes in at $1,089 with additional CALs costing $77 a pop.

IT departments will need to shell out $1,899 for Windows EBS 2008, which also includes five CALs, with each extra licensed computers connecting to a server priced at $189 each.

Overall, you're looking at about a 30 per cent discount for buying the bundles rather than purchasing the software on its own, although your mileage may vary depending on the size of the buy.

Complete versions of Microsoft's server products are expected to land late this year. ®

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