Microsoft on Wednesday announced that it will debut new small- and medium-sized server products based on Windows Server 2008 sometime in the second half of the year. The products, Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008, respectively, are aimed at the millions of smaller businesses worldwide that have no or small IT staffs. Microsoft will publicly demonstrate both products at its Windows Server 2008 launch event, "Heroes Happen Here," next week in Los Angeles.

Windows Small Business Server 2008, codenamed Cougar, is aimed at businesses with up to 50 PCs. It will ship in two versions, one of which includes Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2008, SharePoint Services 3.0, and one-year trial subscriptions to Forefront Security for Exchange Server Small Business Edition and the new Windows Live OneCare for Server. A Premium version of the product adds a second copy of Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 Standard Edition.

Windows Essential Business Server 2008, previously codenamed Centro, is a new product aimed at medium sized businesses with up to 250 desktops. This product is installed on three separate servers and includes Windows Server 2008, Exchange 2007, Forefront Security for Exchange Server, System Center Essentials 2007, and the next version of Internet Security and Acceleration Server. A Premium edition of the product will also include SQL Server 2008.