Microsoft (News - Alert) licensing resellers are not pleased with the software giant’s decision to discontinue its development of Small Business Server (SBS) 2011, a one or two server solution for small businesses. This news was made public in July of this year, the technology giant officially stopped production on July 5, 2012 and publicized that it will no longer be selling the product after June 2013. Luckily there is light at the end of the tunnel in the form of Office 365.
Microsoft SBS 2011 was a very popular product amongst smaller businesses due to its bundled Microsoft Windows Server, Exchange Server and SQL Server functions in addition its ease of use and deployment.
The Office 365 provider decided to replace Microsoft SBS 2011 with Windows Server 2012, the successor to Windows Server 2008 R2, as its newest server for small businesses and home offices. Released in September of this year, Windows Server 2012 became the new server operating system which has four editions: Foundation, Essentials, Standard and Datacenter.
Other than the four editions, Windows Server 2012 server offers a lot of virtualization features, a new set of Web services APIs and a user-friendly dashboard.
What appears as a relief (a new released server for the small business market) was actually upsetting news for resellers about the loss of SBS 2011. In fact, it has sparked outrage among Microsoft’s resellers.
News like this makes one think how customers felt about Microsoft also putting an end to Windows Home Server (WHS), its home server operating system. Rumors speculate that sales will be discontinued on December 31, 2013.
This news about the company halting developments of these two Windows Server products (in addition to the one terminated back on June 30th, 2010 known as the Windows Essential Business Server (EBS) 2008) has prompted various resellers to lash out at Microsoft. These resellers are revolting mostly over the way Microsoft has handled the termination of the SBS product, rather than over the decisions of putting an end to the other two servers (EBS and WHS).
They are upset about the discontinuation of SBS 2011 simply because of renewal costs which force customers into having to buy each individual product separately; it brings higher costs since it has users move to a cloud-based solution. They are also complaining about the fact SBS 2011 came with licenses to use Microsoft's Exchange e-mail server while Windows Server 2012 Essentials does not include Exchange Server capabilities.
Other than having an impact on the Microsoft resellers, individuals and business alike are also troubled by the news about the break off of many server products. Many Microsoft customers claim that not everyone is keen to having their data controlled, managed and stored with a third party cloud service or e-mail provider. Some are not even ready to move to the cloud (or need Office 365) as it does not fit their business needs; while others have yet to adapt to cloud computing due to concerns about uptime, privacy, security and access to their data.
Regardless of the firm’s decision to terminate SBS (as well as the other servers for that matter) in favor of offering a future of private and public clouds and despite the resellers’ reactions, Microsoft looks ahead to give SMBs a more scalable and upgradable server, one that offers better application support, backup, management and security support for Windows 7 and Windows 8 PCs or Mac OS X computers, mobile device support and integration with external Internet-based services that can easily connect to Microsoft's cloud-based services (or else towards its Office 365 suite).
Even though Microsoft seems to have its users and resellers shift to Windows Server 2012, a cloud hosted service provider or Office 365, they are likely to overcome their grief in knowing the software company is doing all it can to offer what it feels is the best approach for the future to meet most businesses and individuals’ needs.
Edited by Jamie Epstein