Microsoft has released early beta versions of its "Cougar" upgrade of Small Business Server and "Centro," a new integrated server suite for midsize businesses. Both products are x64-only and are scheduled to ship in 2008, according to Microsoft. Late last month, the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant released to a select group of partners and OEMs a Customer Technology Preview of Cougar, the next version of Small Business Server based on the "Longhorn" edition of the Windows Server, which is slated to ship by the end of this year. Microsoft said Cougar will incorporate Windows Server, Exchange Server 2007, Windows SharePoint Services, ISA Server and SQL Server and System Center Essentials, a new system management suite designed for the small- and midsize-business market.
Meanwhile, Microsoft also is making progress with its highly anticipated midmarket server, code-named Centro. Last month, the company released a private beta of Centro, an x64 solution that addresses the infrastructure needs of midsize companies. Based on a model similar to Small Business Server (SBS), Centro will integrate the Longhorn Windows Server, Exchange 2007, System Center Essentials, SQL Server 2006, ISA Server and other Microsoft Forefront security services.