A year after releasing Windows 2000, Microsoft finally released its Win2K-based Small Business Server (SBS) 2000 suite, which includes heavy hitters SQL Server 2000, Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server, and Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000. The suite incorporates such features as Windows Media technologies, shared fax capabilities, and a set of easy-to-use, HTML-based management tools. Collaboration and information-sharing tools round out the package.

Like the previous version, SBS 2000 limits access to 50 concurrent users, but Microsoft says that companies can upgrade the product to the full Microsoft BackOffice Server suite if their needs grow beyond that size. SBS 2000 represents a new assault on the small and home business market, which Microsoft feels is a largely untapped market. Previous products have been too complex for companies that don't have dedicated IT staffs and too unmanageable for those that outsource their IT needs. SBS 2000 addresses these concerns by providing simple management tools and remote administration and monitoring capabilities that leverage Win2K and Win2K Server Terminal Services technology.

Also of note in this release is a simpler new setup program that makes getting the suite up and running easy for even technically unsophisticated users. SBS 2000 Setup integrates setup from each of the bundled applications in the suite, eliminating the need to separately install and configure each product.

For pricing and more information, visit the SBS Web site.