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Microsoft Releases Small Business Server 2003 R2 To Manufacturing

Microsoft is releasing Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 to manufacturing this week.

The Small Business Server (SBS) upgrade will be officially launched at Microsoft’s annual partner summit in July, but OEM pre-installs on servers and general availability isn't expected until later this summer, the Redmond, Wash., company said.

SBS 2003 R2 had been scheduled for delivery by the end of June, but few solution providers are sweating out the delay. R2 offers automated network patch and update management, a new Green Check feature that yields security information, and support for 75 Gbytes of e-mail. The Premium Edition also includes SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition.

Many partners think current SBS customers will bypass the upgrade because it uses Windows Server 2003 SP1 rather than the recently released Windows Server 2003 R2 and offers few compelling new features.

"No, there's not much interest at all. The Green Check feature isn’t worth the price of the upgrade. There just is not a lot of compelling value in SBS R2 that makes us want to recommend it to our clients," said Jason Harrison, president of Harrison Technology Consulting, Nashville, N.C.

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