Windows SBS 2011 Essentials Released Broadly

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Microsoft has announced the release of Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials via volume licensing channels or from OEMs and retail outlets. SBS 2011 Essentials is designed to rely on cloud-based services.

Microsoft originally released Windows SBS 2011 Standard to OEMs and volume licensing customers back in March. Microsoft, however, announced that more OEM server products using SBS 2011 Essentials software will be available “in the next few months.”

SBS 2011 Essentials supports up to 25 users, compared to SBS 2011 Standard which supports up to 75 users. Another benefit in using SBS 2011 Essentials over SBS 2011 Standard is that there are no Client Access Licenses required to use the Essentials version. Microsoft also provides a table that shows the differences between the two servers.

Microsoft is planning on a tight integration between SBS 2011 Essentials and the recently released Office 365 cloud-based productivity suite. Using a connector called “Office 365 Integration Module for SBS Essentials,” users will be able to enjoy Office 365. Microsoft expects to release this connector this fall.

Microsoft also stated in its announcement that “many more solutions for cloud back up, hosted email integration, online productivity are already on the market or will be available soon.”

You can download a trial of Windows SBS 2011 Essentials here.