Good news. Today we opened up the Public Preview for Windows Essential Server Solutions – Small Business Server 2008 and Essential Business Server 2008.  Visit here to find out how to download and evaluate the Release Candidate 0 versions of both.  EBS is available now, SBS will be up within a few weeks – but you can sign up today and be notified when it is ready.

We also unveiled pricing for SBS 2008 and EBS 2008.  Both products offer big savings versus buying the similar component products separately, not to mention the time and effort saved by the Solutions’ integrated, SMB-oriented set up and management.  We’ve made a lot of changes to SBS as a product, so the price has changed.  In most 1-75 user cases, SBS 2008 Standard is actually less expensive than SBS 2003 Standard.  SBS 2008 Premium is now a two box solution with an additional copy of Windows Server and SQL Server running on a second box, in order to provide a great application platform – a big request from partners and customers.  There are a number of changes to make SBS CALs more flexible and cost-effective, too – see here for details.

Joel Sider