Microsoft will soon unleash two Windows Small Business Server 2003 suites--products that bundle Windows Server 2003 with the company's most recent enterprise servers. Small Business Server 2003, Standard Edition, is a low-end bundle that will include Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 and will cost $599. A higher-end version--Small Business Server 2003, Premium Edition--will include Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000 in addition to Exchange 2003 and will cost $1499--the same price as Small Business Server 2000. In addition, Microsoft will change the Small Business Server licensing to allow for as many as 75 Client Access Licenses (CALs), up from 50 in earlier versions.
PC makers such as Dell and HP will sell low-end servers bundled with Small Business Server 2003 for as little as $999. According to Microsoft, these servers will include all the products preinstalled and will set up in just minutes. And prebundled servers based on Small Business Server 2003, Premium Edition will start at just $1499, the company said. Microsoft is raising CAL prices from $60 to $99, arguably because of Small Business Server 2003's additional functionality. However, this pricing is still significantly lower than CAL pricing for the individual products, Microsoft notes.
Small Business Server 2003 is targeted at two types of small businesses: companies that have a few technical people who can handle administrative duties in addition to their usual jobs and companies that want to farm out administration to a services organization. In either case, Small Business Server 2003 includes well-thought-out management tools that administrators can use remotely. For end users, the product suites include similarly well-designed client tools that let users access the suites' features from connected desktops or from the Web.