Microsoft recently sent word that part of its Windows Essential Server Solutions product family--Windows Small Business Server 2008 (SBS2008)--has been released to manufacturing (RTM). Microsoft has been spending a considerable amount of resources developing and positioning products for small and medium businesses recently, and SBS2008 is the latest product from Microsoft to enter that market.

At the recent Microsoft 2008 World Partner Conference (WPC) in Houston, Steven VanRoekel, senior director of the Windows Server Solutions group, described the Windows Essential Server Solutions family in more detail. "\[Windows Essential Server Solutions\] is our family of integrated, all-in-one IT solutions designed and priced for small and midsize businesses," VanRoekel said. "By combining Microsoft technologies such as Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, SQL Server 2008 and other Microsoft products and services, these solutions make the benefits of enterprise-class IT accessible, affordable and simpler for smaller organizations."

SBS2008 hit RTM today, but Microsoft plans to launch the program formally on November 12, 2008. According to VanRoekel, that date will serve as the official launch date for both SBS2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (EBS2008). Microsoft is positioning SBS2008 as a single-server solution for small businesses with less than 50 employees, while EBS2008 is aimed at businesses with 50-250 employees.

The following visual from the Microsoft SBS2008 website shows what Microsoft products are included in both the standard and premium editions of SBS2008:

For more information on the SBS2008 RTM, visit the Microsoft SBS team blog at http://blogs.technet.com/sbs.