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Microsoft unplugs middling Windows server

Windows EBS on the way out

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Microsoft will halt development of its mid-market oriented Windows Essential Business Server software bundle, as the company bets on "cloud computing" rather than lump licensing to woo penny-pinching IT markets.

The EBS package, which combines Windows Server 2008, Exchange 2007 and server management tools, will be discontinued effective June 30 2010, Microsoft said on Friday.

On the Windows Essential Business Server Team blog, Microsoft said the decision to axe EBS was based on the observation that "midsize businesses are rapidly turning to technologies such as management, virtualization and cloud computing as a means to cut costs, improve efficiency and increase competitiveness".

But Microsoft said it will continue to sell its Windows Small Business Server to smaller companies. The EBS 2008 product will be supported throughout the product lifecycle of its individual components.

To usher existing customers to the standalone versions of EBS software, Microsoft will allow EBS 2008 owners to obtain the individual component software from the suite for free, between June 30 and December 31, 2010.

"There is a tremendous amount of talent and expertise on the EBS product development team and Microsoft is committed to transitioning members of the EBS product team to work on other projects within the Microsoft Server and Cloud division," Microsoft said in the blog posting. ®

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