First release candidate for Microsoft Small Business Server 2008

The next edition of Windows Server's pre-configured server operating system for small business hit the wires this morning, with both Standard and Premium packages, in 32- and 64-bit editions, available for preview.

Download Microsoft Small Business Server 2008 RC0 from FileForum now.

SBS 2008 will be geared toward the "S" side of "SMB," which will distinguish this version from its predecessor, SBS 2005. With this new product cycle, Microsoft is producing Essential Business Server 2008 for three- or four-server deployments, where the extra server in the Premium package is reserved for SQL Server 2008. SBS 2008 will also have Standard and Premium packages, where the second image is intended for a dedicated SQL Server.

What's unusual this time around is the monkey wrench that SQL Server's delayed release throws into the works. Usually something that Microsoft classifies as a "release candidate" does not contain another product that's only made it up to "community technology preview" (CTP) status. But in this case, the optional Premium package download for SBS 2008 RC0 contains CTP6 of SQL Server 2008. To make that work, the Premium download will expand to two .ISO installation disc images rather than the usual one.

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