Microsoft’s Netbook-Like Server Software

Microsoft now believes that there is a lot of people who are not willing to spend much on server software let alone hardware, but may actually be interested in a basic Windows Server.

Chief executive officer Steve Ballmer said in a conference call with financial analysts that within the next two month, Microsoft plans to announce a "low-cost, low-price, low-functionality Windows Server SKU" called "Foundation Edition," He compared this software to the netbook craze, which enabled Intel to sell millions of processors into a newly created computer segment within a short period of time which enabled Microsoft to leverage this market to sell millions of Windows XP licenses.

Steve Ballmer continued. “If you take a look at it, as server prices, hardware prices have come down, we don’t exactly have a netbook phenomenon, but if somebody can buy a $500 server, they’re a little loathe to spend $500 for the server operating system that goes with it,” the executive said.

There is room between Windows Home Server ($100) and the standard business server for a product that would act a bit more like a standard server and can be configured in more ways than WHS. Small Business Server is the standard choice for entry-level Microsoft servers which includes the standard server, Exchange, Share Point, Server Update and Forefront ($1000). Standalone standard server pricing currently begins at $470 for the Web Server Edition.

Paul Thurott who wrote about this new server two months ago said that the Foundation Server will support all the key Windows Server roles except Hyper-V virtualization. The primary target apparently surrounds the popular “emerging markets” theme, but if netbooks are any indication, there may be a substantial opportunity in saturated markets as well: Early adopters, enthusiasts and perhaps even home businesses. Thurott said the Foundation Server will sell for about $200, which should enable system vendors to come up with a sub-$500 server package.

From TG Daily.

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  1. Now if they took all the good of WHS (simplicity, storage pooling – not traditional raid, extendability, etc) and baked in some of SBS (Exchange – or some simple outlook sharing capability, wsus, SharePoint, remote management, and the ability for more than 10 “clients”) we could have a good SOHO server product.

    I am currently creating specs for my clients: an HP media smart WHS, and Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (hosted Exchange and SharePoint) with some WHS add ons to give them an entry level SOHO “server”.

    WHS and SBS are great, but like with most of Microsoft thinking, there is a disconnect between the consumer and what they call a “small Business” (75 or more users). They are totally missing out on the businesses (and families for that matter) that have graduated from the go to the Best Buy and pick it up and the $100000.00+ IT budget for a new server, a few workstations and software licences for their “entry level” small business customers. Getting Microsoft (and other tech vendors) to recognize this “micro business” black hole is somthing I continue to lobby for every chance I get.

    Jared Finkenbinder
    IT/Technical Manager
    Alpha Omega Accounting, LLC

  2. EarthandAllStars says:

    This is a great idea. I recently installed the trial version of WHS on my AMD Geode Machine with a mere 640MB of RAM and it does everything I’ve wanted it to do. I can definitely see the small server market growing. It will pinch profits though as the margins are smaller, and the quality has to be consistently high.

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