With the soon to be released Microsoft Windows Server 2012 editions, there will be no Small Business Server 2012!

Windows Small Business Server Essentials will now be renamed Windows Server 2012 Essentials.   The Essentials edition has been designed to integrate with the internet, delivering flexible, cloud-enable services.

sbs 2011

Microsoft SBS 2011 Standard will be the last edition of SBS.  The SBS (Small Business Server) versions have always been massively popular as they included Exchange Server, SharePoint and optional SQL in a bundled package designed for small businesses on a budget.

This is a major step for Microsoft, and expresses their confidence in cloud computing for small businesses.  It shouldn’t come as any great surprise though; most companies have started to adopt the internet for hosted email, on-line backups, on-line CRM and line of business applications.  With many businesses only requiring an in-house server for domain management and sharing of files and folders, using internet based services for everything else.

Although using a hybrid solution ( the term hybrid means a solution that uses both an on-premises server and on-line services ) is the best solution for many small businesses, what about those with slow or unreliable internet connections?  It’s a fact that cloud services require a steady, fairly fast internet connection, without which staff cannot work.  For companies with broadband problems it might be wise to stick with Microsoft SBS 2011 until internet in their area is upgraded.  Alternatively they could opt to install a range of third party applications that have sprung to market since Microsoft’s SBS announcement.

The UK is the most internet-based major economy in the world, but it’s also the 16th slowest speeds in Europe.  Therefore there is great demand for the most rural and suburban areas to get super-fast connections within the next few years.  If BT, Virgin, TalkTalk and BSykB are able to supply this ever increasing demand, then Microsoft’s shift to the cloud could be the best move for small growing businesses.