Feeds

MS punts stripped down Windows Server 2008 at tiny SMBs

Back to basics with Foundation

Security for virtualized datacentres

Microsoft has today released a new server product from its Windows 2008 family, aimed at small, cash-strapped businesses that have so far shunned the software giant's current Small Business Server (SBS) offering.

Windows 2008 Foundation is essentially a stripped down version of the standard edition of Windows Server '08.

Microsoft has decided to flog the re-hashed product purely through OEMs, all of whom will set prices individually.

Hardware vendors that have already inked deals with Microsoft include Hewlett-Packard, Dell and IBM.

The firm's Windows Server product manager Gareth Hall told The Register that Microsoft was unable to talk about prices its OEM partners would set, but said it would be "substantially cheaper" than its current SBS and Windows Server 2008 offerings.

Hall said Redmond had recently identified two different types of customers within the SMB market. Microsoft is gunning for tiny firms with 15 or fewer staff that only need a "classic file and print server environment", explained Hall.

But why has Microsoft decided to offer another version of its Windows Server 2008 product now, and does the move have any connection to a sluggish take up of its SBS system?

Sadly, at time of writing we can't answer that for you, as MS hasn't provided us with real world stats around how many SBS 2008 products Microsoft has actually sold since release in November last year.

Instead Hall, who described SBS users as "happy customers", chose to focus on the sorry state of the world economy.

"We're hitting this market segment in this economic climate following feedback from our customers," he said.

In other words, SMBs are shying away from pricey server products that come loaded with whistles and bells.

As a result Microsoft has limited the scope of Foundation and stripped the OS bare, but at the same time the firm will be hoping for customer loyalty by slotting its latest offering into its SBS Solutions Pathway scheme.

"Customers can upgrade and keep their original investment intact," said Hall, who added that the product carries a maximum one processor and 8GB RAM limit and lacks any virtualisation capability.

Foundation will initially be sold exclusively through the OEM channel in 40 countries.

"North of 90 per cent of customers come from OEM", said Hall when asked why the company had made the slightly unusual decision to swerve boxing up the software and selling it off-the-shelf.

Oh, and despite the name, which seems to us to be a direct marketing swipe at Lotus Foundations, Hall told El Reg that Windows Server 2008 Foundation isn't here to rival that product. "SBS is the true competitor there," he said. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
Was ist das? Eine neue Suse Linux Enterprise? Ausgezeichnet!
Version 12 first major-number Suse release since 2009
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.