Microsoft EBS (Essential Business Server) has been discontinued. The team said today (March 5th) on their blog:
“Since the launch of EBS, several changes have occurred that drove our decision to streamline our server product portfolio. First, midsize businesses are rapidly turning to technologies such as management, virtualization and cloud computing as a means to cut costs, improve efficiency, and increase competitiveness. Those capabilities are already available through other offerings, including Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft System Center and the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS).”
I’m not particularly surprised at all about this as we’ve seen very low levels of interest in this product over the last year or so. It was relatively attractive if you were setting up a completely new company that was straight away 75+ users and would run totally self sufficiently, but that isn’t something that happens very often!
As far as I can see, SMB’s of 75-300 users, especially nowadays, are less likely to go for a “one size fits all, here’s a package-go install it” style. The skills sets of mid market IT techs are much broader and deeper than in the past…often comparable to that of much bigger Enterprises. I don’t think “The Cloud” is being adopted as much might be suggested, but it is certainly a road that many SMB’s are looking at travelling down in the future.
There are some people on Twitter that love EBS and will no doubt be sad to see this go (you know who you are!) but I think, on the whole, this is a product death that few will mourn. In fact, it may well pass most people completely by as EBS wasn’t even that well known!
What happens next?
There won’t be an EBS 2010 but customers will continue to get:
Service Pack support
for the current EBS product.
From June 30th – December 31st there is a promo running which allows current EBS owners to get the individual component parts free of charge so:
Windows Server 2008 Std
Exchange Server 2007 Std
System Center Essentials 2007