The third member of Microsoft's new trio of small business servers, codenamed "Small Business Server 7" is running behind the other two, and is now set to go to public beta by the end of September.
The three new products -- the "Vail" Windows Home Server release, the "Aurora" hybrid-cloud small-business offering, and Small Business Server (SBS) 7 -- were all expected to hit new milestones before the end of August.
Microsoft released a new test build (though seemingly not the expected, near-final Release Candidate) of Vail in mid-August. The company also delivered a first public test build of Aurora the same day. The "Colorado" software development kit that can be used to build apps for both Aurora and SBS 7 also went to testers in August.
But August came and went, but no SBS 7 test build....
Microsoft officials told me, when I asked on September 7, that SBS 7 is still alive and well, and that a beta of it will be coming before the end of September. The Softies wouldn't comment as to what has pushed back the SBS 7 test build.
SBS 7 will be the latest version of Microsoft's on-premises small-business bundle, built around the 64-bit (only) version of the Windows Server 2008 R2 core. SBS 7 also will include Exchange 2010 Service Pack (SP) 1, SharePoint 2010 Foundation and Windows Server Update Services 3.0. Microsoft will make available for an additional (so far, unspecified) fee an add-on with SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition for Small Business. Microsoft is touting as SBS 7’s biggest new feature its support for Office Web Apps, as a result of the inclusion of SharePoint 2010 in the bundle.
Microsoft execs aren't ready to say whether there will be an on-premises SBS 8, or whether Microsoft plans to make SBS a hybrid-only offering, like Aurora. Aurora is comprised of a small on-premises Server core, supplemented by a number of cloud services, starting with Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), plus some as-yet-unspecified others.
Microsoft officials continue to decline to provide ship-date targets for any of these three new offerings. Scuttlebutt has Vail out this year. Aurora and SBS 7 might not make it out in final form before the end of this calendar year.