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SBS 2003 R2 at a Nice Price

Microsoft announced retail and channel availability of SBS 2003 R2 today during CEO Steve Ballmer's keynote at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference.

At $1,299, the Premium Edition of R2 is $200 less than the Premium Edition of SBS 2003. "That's based on a price reduction in the SQL Server line," said Steven Van Roekel, director of the Windows Server Solutions Group. The R2 version uses the Workgroup Edition of SQL Server 2005 rather than the slightly pricier Standard Edition of SQL Server 2000 that was included in the original SBS 2003 package. "From a partner perspective, I think that will open some additional doors," Van Roekel said of the price-sensitive small business market.

On CALs, customers will have more options for server deployments. In the past, the SBS CAL covered access to only Exchange or SQL Server services deployed on the main SBS 2003 box in a shop. Now, if a partner chooses, for scalability or other reasons, to install an Exchange server or SQL Server on another server in a customer site, the SBS CAL may be used to access those services. Previously, the customer would have required a separate CAL to access SQL Server or Exchange installed on a different system than the SBS 2003 machine.

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 11, 2006


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