Today, Microsoft announced the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows Small Business Server 2003, setting the stage for a new generation of low-cost servers. Small Business Server 2003 will be available in two editions, a Standard Edition that includes Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, and a Premium Edition that adds Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000 and Microsoft SQL Server 2000.
"Windows Small Business Server 2003 delivers unprecedented innovations in simplicity, resulting in a new solution that uniquely enables a broader population of small businesses to more quickly realize returns on their IT investments while providing new opportunities for channel partners to profitably service an even larger spectrum of small-business customers," said Bill Veghte, corporate vice president of the Windows Server Group.
With this version, Small Business Server will be available for the first time in low-cost server bundles from Dell, HP, and other major PC makers. This change means that small businesses will be able to purchase inexpensive PC servers, enter a few location-specific pieces of information on first boot, and have a functioning and secure Active Directory (AD) infrastructure up and running in less than 15 minutes, complete with email, remote access, a sophisticated intranet, and more. Microsoft says the servers will start at about $999.
For more information about Small Business Sever 2003, see my preview on the SuperSite for Windows. I'll post a final review of the product, including the PC server preinstallation option, in the coming weeks.