Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 too expensive for hardware, market

When Microsoft introduced Small Business Server 2008, it upped the price of the base package and reduced the cost of client access licenses.

That’s OK for the, umm, larger small business; but it’s made the product expensive for those tiny setups who only need 5 or 10 CALs.

RIght now, is offering SBS 2008 Standard for 835.49+VAT and an OEM version for £535.55+VAT.

By contrast, you can get the old SBS 2003 Standard OEM for £275.90+VAT.

Suitable servers on the other hand are now at rock-bottom prices. If you are lucky you can pick up an HP ML110 for around £200+VAT (try Amazon). Of course you have to add some RAM and probably a second hard drive for RAID, but neither is particularly expensive.

The 2003 edition was better value. This has also made Linux more attractive for those with the skills to look after it, and businesses that are not saddled with Windows-only software that has to run on the server.

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4 thoughts on “Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 too expensive for hardware, market”

  1. According to the Microsoft website: Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard is available as an alternative version in place of Windows Server 2008 Standard until December 31, 2009.

    You say that Linux can be “more attractive for those with the skills to look after it” and I couldn’t agree more espeically since the skills to Manage SBS have to be learned, so why not learn Linux skills instead!!!


  2. Susan

    Worth considering, I agree. However, SBS used to work nicely for smaller businesses (I’ve seen it add a lot of value with just two users); it is a shame if it has priced itself out of that kind of role.


  3. Selling my customers on SBS2003 was a cake walk. I’ve yet to come up with an honest value angle for SBS2008. Most of the value for SBS2008 is for me on the administrative side. My clients (everyone is different) don’t really get anything from SBS2008, and they are expected to pay a lot more for it.

    I don’t want to go back to SBS2003, but I’ve already sold one network based on it on cost alone.

    If MS wants the <10 user offices like they could get with SBS2003 (and the MS Office purchases that go with that), then they will cut the cost on SBS2008.

    Otherwise Google Apps becomes a much better alternative. A basic dell server + server 2008 will let me take care of the other non groupware related roles.

    Also, and I hate to say it, but it also makes Macs look a lot nicer in the office environment.

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