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Microsoft Preps Bobcat SBS, Titanium Version Of Exchange

Microsoft has given solution providers a major incentive for pushing Small Business Server 2000 through the channel as it preps the next "Bobcat" version and "Titanium" release of Exchange: a $500 rebate.

As the software giant preps to ship a major upgrade of Small Business Server in 2003, code-named 'Bobcat," Microsoft is giving channel partners a sizable rebate for some type of service rendered to small business customers who buy SBS 2000 from Aug.1 through January 31, said Bill Veghte, corporate vice president of the Windows.NET server group.

The rebate itself is almost one third of the $1,500 price-tag of the server. Solution providers can qualify for the rebate by offering some type of deployment, training or maintenance service, he said.

The next version of Small Business Server, due in 2003, will also integrate the "Titanium" update of Exchange and SharePoint Team Services 2.0, said Veghte. "Titanium" Exchange is being announced at Fusion 2002 on Monday. "It'll have SharePoint Team Services in the box so you're enabling the knowledge worker," he said, noting solution providers can build help desk functionality.

The Windows.NET server official noted that the next version of Small Business Server will be positioned as one of five SKUs of Windows.NET servers. For the smallest of businesses, Microsoft is pushing the peer to peer capabilities of Windows XP but for businesses larger than seven seats Microsoft is urging SBS adoption.

The next version of Small Business Server won't ship until after Team Services 2.0 and the next version of Exchange code-named "Titanium" will ship in 2003, the Microsoft official said. SBS 2003, code-named "Bobcat," will also feature easy setup features and templates that will allows value-added providers to configure it right out of the box," Veghte said.

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