Feeds

MS punts stripped down Windows Server 2008 at tiny SMBs

Back to basics with Foundation

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.