7. Retiring Small Business Specialist Community, Ditching Small Business Server
In November 2013, Microsoft also retired its Small Business Specialist Community (SBSC), a partner organization formed in 2005 to focus specifically on small businesses. That means partners can no longer take advantage of SBSC-specific enrollment, branding and benefits.
In its place, Microsoft created the Small Business competency in the Microsoft Partner Network. Microsoft also discontinued development of its Small Business Server product last July and began steering partners to Windows Server 2012 Essentials.
Microsoft says it's working on a partner-to-partner community for small business partners and will share details sometime this year, but it's fair to wonder if partner enthusiasm in this segment will ever return to its previous levels.