Today Microsoft soft finally dropped the axe on their Small Business Server line and while this didn’t come as a surprise to most Microsoft-centric service providers, many were disappointed an angry.
The sad irony is that the current incarnation of Small Business Server (SBS 2011) is the first version that feels complete and rounded as previous version simply weren’t up to scratch:
SBS 2000 – Too basic
SBS 2003 – Good but showed it’s age quickly
SBS 2008 – Resource hog with facelift (‘a la vista’)
Cloud Services Push
Clearly this is an attempt by Microsoft to push customers towards it’s cloud based offerings but they are either forgetting or ignoring a few critical facts:
1) Many companies still have slow or unreliable connectivity (I have first hand experience of this in the Caribbean)
2) Lots of companies don’t want their data stored in the USA where the IRS can get their grubby mitts on it.
3) While services such as Hosted Exchange are good, the level of control available is a far cry from an in-house server and as I have experienced, Microsoft’s support team infrastructure for their Office 365 products are so incompetent it’s a joke (but not a funny one).
While I’m sure some companies will make the move towards cloud based services, many will be considering Google Apps and other Microsoft alternatives if they are making the move from a local SBS server and others will simply switch their local server to an Exchange equivalent such as Kerio Connect for the huge cost savings over a fully-fledged Exchange installation.