Microsoft is inviting customers and partners to begin evaluating pre-release versions of Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008.
Due for general release later this year, Microsoft has overhauled its licensing terms following customer feedback on its current Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 offering.
The new licensing terms mean that customers will be able to purchase single client access licences, allowing them to pay only for the exact number of employees using the product.
Windows Small Business Server 2008 Standard Edition software, including five licences, will be priced at $1,089 with each additional licence costing $77. The premium version will cost $1,899 with extra licences priced at $189.
Windows Essential Business Server 2008 Standard Edition software, including five licences, will carry a $5,472 price tag. Additional licences will be charged at $81.
The premium version will set customers back $7,163, with extra licences costing $195.
"Small and midsize companies are looking for many of the same IT capabilities and benefits as those sought by large enterprises," said Ray Boggs, vice president of small/medium business research at IDC.
"But the technology has to be delivered as part of simpler, integrated and more affordable solutions for organisations with minimal IT staff and resources. "
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