Microsoft makes Small Business Server 7 public test build available

Microsoft is releasing to interested testers a preview test version of the next version of its Small Business Server, known as "SBS 7," on September 21.

Microsoft is releasing to interested testers a preview test version of the next version of its Small Business Server, known as "SBS 7," on September 21.

SBS 7 is one of three new, low-end server offerings in the Microsoft delivery pipeline. The other two are the "Vail" Windows Home Server product (which is in final test phases), and the "Aurora" hybrid cloud/on-premises small-business server, which went to testers in August. Microsoft officials originally planned to deliver the SBS 7 preview in August, but said recently it would be delayed until September.

SBS 7 is built on top of Windows Server 2008 R2 and includes Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack (SP) 1, SharePoint Foundation 2010 and Windows Software Update Services. Microsoft is touting access to Office Web Apps as one of the biggest selling points of the forthcoming bundle. SBS 7 also includes migration tools, pre-migration checks and prescriptive guidance for users looking to upgrade from older versions of the SBS suite.

The public SBS 7 preview is available via Microsoft's Connect site and can be downloaded immediately.

Microsoft officials are continuing to decline to provide ship targets for SBS 7, Aurora or Vail.  Some company watchers believe Vail will be out in calendar 2010, with SBS 7 and Vail to follow in either late 2010 or early 2011.

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