Microsoft will include SQL Server 2000 in the release of Small Business Server (SBS) 2000, due in fall 2000. SBS 2000 is an update to the company's popular SBS suite of server products designed for small businesses. Like its predecessor, SBS 2000 supports as many as 50 users. The new version has a vastly simplified interface and includes Windows 2000, Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2000, SQL Server 2000, Exchange Server 2000, FrontPage 2000, shared fax and modem services, Windows 2000 Server Terminal Services for remote administration, and several other new services.

"Small Business Server 2000 is the best way for small businesses to get Windows 2000 Server and the Windows 2000 generation of server applications that they are looking for," said Steve Ballmer, president and CEO of Microsoft. "I am really proud of the great work we've done to deliver a comprehensive small-business networking solution and provide tools that facilitate a strong service relationship between small-business customers and their technology providers. Small Business Server 2000 is a true testament to the strategic importance we place on our technology provider partners."

To promote SBS 2000, Microsoft is offering a technology guarantee to ensure that customers who purchased SBS 4.5 after January 1, 2000, will be eligible for a free upgrade to SBS 2000 when it ships this fall. Also, Microsoft will upgrade SBS Client Add Packs at no cost. Customers who upgraded from SBS 4.0 to SBS 4.5, however, aren't eligible for this special offer.

Microsoft also offers an upscale suite for larger corporate sites that have no client limitation. BackOffice 2000 features the same server products as SBS 2000 but adds Host Integration Server 2000, Systems Management Server (SMS) 2.0 Service Pack 2 (SP2), and many other features, such as multiserver deployment, unattended setup, planning wizards, and custom administrative consoles.