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Microsoft Continues Small Business Push With Centro Apps, Server
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By Rich Karpinski

First came a storage server, then online office tools, not to mention a business search engine -- all with a significant small biz focus. Now, Microsoft is readying release of a version of its core business software suite specifically suited to small- and medium-sized businesses.

According to Information Week, Microsoft's code-named Centro software -- now re-named Windows Essential Business Server-- will be shipped next year.

Whether you need Centro depends on how big your business is and what sort of in-house IT/admin support you have. Microsoft says the software is targeted at companies with 25 to 250 computers. You'll have to install and maintain it yourself, which makes it out of reach for some small businesses.

The Standard Edition of the new platform will include Exchange Server 2007 for messaging, Forefront Security for Exchange, System Center Essentials for management and Internet Security and Acceleration Server aka ISA Server for firewalling and security.

Pricing isn't available yet, but if your small business is big enough to run its own infrastructure, Microsoft servers and software are always a good option.

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