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What happened to Microsoft Small Business Server?

Microsoft Small Business Server suite has been upgraded over the years, with the release of Office 365 in 2011, Microsoft began to focus on cloud based server products.

Small Business Server 2011 was the last Microsoft Small Business Server version and was released in December 2010. Microsoft introduced their Essentials version of Windows Server 2012.

Microsoft Small Business Specialist logo

As an IT support provider and Microsoft Small Business Specialist who have worked with every version of Small Business Server; we were initially surprised that Microsoft were shifting their products to the cloud. Most of our clients used Email and ACT CRM or Sage Accounts. These applications required a server to to be installed onsite to ensure users could connect quickly. In 2010, the UK broadband speed were under 2Mb download and reliability could be intermittent so having a server in the cloud was a costly and slow option for most small businesses.

Microsoft Back Office Server 2000 released in 2001 was renamed as Microsoft Small Business Server 2000.

Microsoft released 4 subsequent releases of SBS:

Server VersionRelease date
Windows Small Business Server 2003October 2003
Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2July 2006
Windows Small Business Server 2008 StandardAugust 2008
Windows Small Business Server 2011 StandardDecember 2010

With release of SBS 2011, there were 3 variants Essentials, Standard & Premium. The Essentials Server version proved popular did not include Exchange Server. This allowed Microsoft to release Windows Server 2012 Essentials in October 2012 which integrated with Office 365 for hosted Exchange email.

Microsoft stopped selling licenses for SBS 2011 on 31st December 2013. This resulted in the price of additional licenses increasing as they were harder to source. Companies had to consider hosted Exchange or a full onsite Exchange Server 2013/2016 or use Office 365 email.

What is Microsoft Small Business Server?

Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS) is a suite of Microsoft Server applications; The SBS suite started out as Back Office Server which was aimed at companies that were initially below 25 users and increased to a 75 user maximum in later versions.

Microsoft SBS allows a business to centralise their files and data and manage users centrally. Email and connect to the Internet.

Microsoft Small Business Server 2000 included:

  • Windows Server 2000 (including IIS5)
  • Server 2000 Standard
  • SQL 2000 Server Standard
  • Internet Security & Acceleration Server 2000
  • Outlook 2000 and FrontPage 2000

Microsoft Small Business Server 2011 included:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Exchange Server 2010 Standard
  • SharePoint Foundation 2010
  • WSUS 3
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard (in Premium)

If your business is currently using Microsoft Small Business Server, speak to one of our team to review your current IT systems and requirements. Also read What versions of Windows Server are supported?