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Microsoft Offers Dual Small Business Promos

Microsoft this week announced a new small business package along with a special promotion that should make it easier for partners to get some services work out of small businesses. The company is offering a discount of 28 percent on a Windows XP upgrade combined with Office 2003 Small Business Edition and a Client Access License (CAL) for Windows Small Business Server 2003. Customers who buy all three products under an Open Value license get an additional $155 per desktop in the form of a check made out to their Microsoft partner of choice, to be used toward services from that partner -- up to a maximum of $10,000. The promotion starts Oct. 17 and runs through March.

Network Engines Unveils Appliance Deal
Network Engines is also offering to give back to partners that sell its NS Series Security Appliances, which run Microsoft’s ISA Server 2004. Any partner that sells three NS6300 or NS6400 units in conjunction with Microsoft’s Windows Server System solution for midsize businesses will get four days of ISA Server certification training, which the partners can use themselves or hand off to customers. At the same time, the customer gets a $500 rebate from Network Engines.

I met with Network Engines back in August and it’s obvious the company is serious about developing a strong channel. At that time, it had 60 partners signed up and was looking to move to a two-tier distribution model. Mike Riley, vice president of marketing and strategy, said the opportunity is clear for Microsoft VARs. “If you’ve sold Exchange servers, put one or two of these in front of them,” he says. With Network Engines, partners can expect 20 to 30 margin points, along with much the same services work that they would get from selling ISA software alone, in terms of setting up the appliance, configuring policies and the like. The company is also working on a new software release that will include a Microsoft Operations Manager agent and an added layer of security control, to ensure only authorized admins make changes to ISA.

For more on the Microsoft midsize business promotion, go here.

For more on the Network Engines offer, go here.

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SQL Installments Get Ever-Larger
Here’s some good ammo for partners facing customer questions about whether SQL Server can handle heavy-duty requirements. The Winter Corp. periodically publishes a survey naming the world’s largest production databases. This year’s installment shows that the largest Windows-based databases have more than doubled in size in the last couple of years, and more of them are cracking the top 10 in some categories. For example, in 2003, only one SQL Server database was among the 10 largest in the OLTP category, but three made the 2005 list. The new survey is also timely, with SQL Server 2005 due out in just a few weeks.

Microsoft Releases 9 Security Bulletins
You got off easy last month, with no security bulletins released on Patch Tuesday, but it’s a different story for October. Microsoft on Tuesday released nine security bulletins, three of them rated "critical."

Microsoft At Work on Homegrown AV Engine
Microsoft is working on developing its own anti-virus scanning engine, or at least building on technology it acquired when it bought GeCAD Software a couple of years ago, and may include it in the next version of Microsoft Antigen. Antigen, which Microsoft acquired along with Sybari Software earlier this year, uses multiple anti-virus and anti-spam engines from major vendors.

Posted by Paul Desmond on October 12, 2005 at 11:53 AM