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Microsoft continues to please their existing customers

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  • User profile image
    wastingtime​withforums

    Looks as if the recent server decisions continue the tradition set forth with Win 8:

    http://blogs.technet.com/b/sbs/archive/2012/07/05/windows-small-business-server-essentials-becomes-windows-server-2012-essentials.aspx

    "This is by FAR the biggest BONE HEAD decision Microsoft has made!  My entire business evolved around SBS and even EBS!  I made significant investment in Time and Money; learning the product, selling the product and supporting the product.  You just wiped out a HUGE SBS community around the world whom like me were devoted SBSers!  I don't know where you get your information, but there is a large group of us out here who have customers who DO NOT WANT CLOUD COMPUTING!  SBS2003 was probably your finest product.  Since then I have watched you pull it apart, shrink its features as it relates to Small Business and in general attempt to Drive us Partners to the Cloud.  Can't you understand some of us don't want to go there?  And the reason we don't want to go there is BECAUSE our customers don't want to go there!  I strongly urge you and Microsoft to reconsider this STUPID decision you have made!"
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    "You are nuts ? You decided to kill SBS, fair, but without a solution that SMBs can afford with Exchange on premise, expect our clients to say goodbye to Exchange and welcome to other onsite solutions. Not that we'll push it, be we will have no other solution. Cloud is not a universal solution, we don't have high speed/low cost bandwith everywhere, there are numerous people afraid of Big Brother.  Do you expect to survive WPC angry partners ?  Didn't you realise last year that the only one clapping during plenery session were MS folks ?"
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    "Microsoft needs to see the real world where most places do not have the connections needed for cloud usage (aka speed and reliability). But apparently management has just decided to run full speed off the cliff and hope they grow wings."

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    I'm sure the biggest issue here isn't that people won't be able to adapt to the new system. It's convincing the customer to go with it. How can you convince someone who's used to the old SBS pricing ($700-800) that they will need shell out several thousand dollars extra to get the same functionality? What if they don't have a reliable and/or fast connection?
    SBS 2011 Standard offered a fully configured OOBE solution with Exchange, SharePoint, AD, etc. For Server 2012, we have to convince the customer to buy Server 2012 ($800+), Exchange 2010 ($1200+), and CALs for both Exchange and Server 2012. The worst part is that they will need to pay to have all of those roles configured that were previously configured out of the box with SBS 2011 Standard. It was hard enough convincing them to get Standard in the first place. With this move they've alienated the customer base and (pardon my language) screwed over the technicians. Several thousand extra in licensing and install costs, no way any SMB will go for it. To use Office 365, many users will have to shell out extra to have reliable and consistent connections. The main reason many people avoid Essentials. This is just a terrible move by MS.
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    Terrible. Our biggest source of revenue, and our biggest source of customer satisfaction, is being eliminated and replaced with... a fluffy cloud of nothing.
    I find it hard to believe that channel partners have anything positive to feel or say about this, especially guaged on the reactions of colleagues that linked me this. For clients who've reliably purchased small business solution packages from us since the late 90's, it seems we have to advise them that Microsoft's offerings for more than a decade, have been discontinued.
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     My most recent SBS2011 install (about 16 days ago) was for a 15-user system. That system gets, at best, about 300Kbps download speed on their broadband connection, purely due to their location. Upload speed is about 128Kbps. 15 users are sharing this link. The best quote we could find for a leased line was £1900. That's £1900 per month. Needless to say, anything in this current fad called the cloud is completely irrelevant and useless to them. So, Microsoft, how useful is your wonderful cloud to us?
    Microsoft's technical background has now been overshadowed by their pie-in-the-sky marketing department. Well done guys

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    I agree with Sandeep and others.  This is NOT a good decision.  Some people just don't want to move to the cloud, period.  Others have political reasons they can't.  Others still want things onsite so they can customize.  For example, I know a lot of SBS customers who have Faxmaker and use it to route faxes to employee emails through their Exchange Server that comes with SBS!  There are many custom low cost solutions that leverage SBS's many awesome abilities.  Microsoft.  This is NOT a smart move.
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    I am sys admin and frankly I think its the dumbest decision ever made done to date. Its about as a good decision of putting Metro on server 2012. Was that wind bag moron ms ceo behind this decision as well?

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    Forced Metro, forced cloud.. what's up at Redmond in 2012? It looks as if Sinofksy & Ballmer base all their decisions on shiny articles at zdnet, theverge and cnet. If some washed up tech journalists hypes something, then the "new Microsoft" needs to immediately kill off/cripple their decade(s) old existing and sucessful products to catch the fads and hypes. Customers be damned. It's downright scary.

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  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    If some washed up tech journalists hypes something, then the "new Microsoft" needs to immediately kill off/cripple their decade(s) old existing and sucessful products to catch the fads and hypes.

    True. But a lot of that comes from IT professionals refusing point blank to upgrade past XP and giving Microsoft a full decade of grief for going out of its way to support their programs, whilst watching Apple make $100bn off the back of never supporting anything that isn't the newest release and Google pushing everything online.

    I don't like the direction its going, but frankly this is what happens when the world incentivises bad behaviour (people upgrading their iPhone every 2 years and going with the Google "everything online - everything with ads - to hell with my own privacy" philosophy) whilst disincentivising good behaviour (stable products released with a clear testing phase, and with huge amounts of effort put into supporting enterprise and legacy applications.

    The world has been so busy saying "here Apple, take my money. Here Google, have all of my private data - boo Microsoft for your boring stable products that I get to run not in someone's cloud-ware" that its hardly surprising that Microsoft is getting more evil again.

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    I don't understand why people are upset. It's not like the SBS systems they support will suddenly stop working. They need to evaluate the new version and see if it still works for them. If not, time to find an alternative.

  • User profile image
    cbae

    @evildictaitor: This is why the goals of the equity markets are often antithetical to the goals of technology and even business, in general. In the equity markets, a company that has huge market share in its sector and employs hundreds of thousands of people gets no respect compared to one that has smaller market share, employing fewer people, but absolutely rapes its customers for huge margins.

    I remember in the early 2000s, there was one point in which the combined market cap of the entire US airline sector was smaller than that of Yahoo!. If Yahoo! collapsed and disappeared, which essentially is happening anyway, the world would have continued without blinking. Yet, if that happened to the US airline sector, one can only imagine how disastrous that would have been.

  • User profile image
    01001001

    @cbae:

    Why do you think Sand Hill Road made such a concerted effort to destroy traditional press?

    They conspired to control everything, and now they're trying to go after Hollywood. They're literally unable to see people as anything but chess pieces. That's how bad Sand Hill Road is and they've made enough money not to stop in the foreseeable future. So you're going to get more of what you described at a higher amplification until their business model starts to turn on them.

    Their pump and dump capital pipeline is so engrained in America now it's practically irremovable.

     

  • User profile image
    cbae

    @1001001: My point extends beyond venture capital. I'm talking about the entire equities market and the concept of publicly-traded companies. The form 10-Q is going to be the bane of companies that produce commodified technology products as Microsoft does.

  • User profile image
    01001001

    @cbae:

    True, but the whole basis for the artificial inflation of the tech companies such as the one you used in your example is fueled by a pyramid of shills, private partnerships and undisclosed subsidiaries largely spearheaded by Sand Hill Road.

    The public is meticulously primed for a pump which they themselves get dumped on.

    I'm talking about the entire equities market

    But it's never as exaggerated as it is in the tech sector. 

  • User profile image
    contextfree`

    Well ... Exchange 2013 hasn't been announced yet, so maybe it will have some kind of lower-priced edition that will suit former SBS folks? Wishful thinking probably, but hey they went back on their stupid decision about VS2012 desktop.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    I really fail to see the logic of some of the commenters. Having looked into this in the past, Office 365 pretty much always comes out cheaper than SBS. And if your on-site premises internet connection has reliability/bandwidth issues, the absolute last thing you want to be doing is running your Exchange server at the end of it.

    I think it's more a case of some sysadmins seeing cloud services as a career threat than anything else, which again is rather short-sighted thinking.

    Now the loss of WHS is more of a shame I think, but then the pretty much killed that already with the ridiculous decision to try and make it a subset of SBS instead of focusing on what would've made it an even more compelling home solution like integrating Media Center functionality and xbox360 backups. And unlike SBS I'm not entirely convinced it's one there is a complete replacement for.

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    Actually Microsoft haven't EOLed non-cloud stuff yet:

    Windows Server 2012 Essentials has been designed to give you the flexibility to choose which applications and services run on-premises and which run in the cloud. In contrast to Windows SBS Standard, Essentials offers lower up-front acquisition and deployment costs. It allows you to take advantage of cloud-based messaging offerings while enjoying an integrated management experience by subscribing to Office 365 or a hosted Exchange service. If you prefer a fully on-premises solution, you have the option of running Exchange Server on a second server (either as a physical or virtual machine) alongside Essentials with the same integrated management experience.

  • User profile image
    kettch

    @AndyC: Yeah, I think that they definitely see it as a threat. Their paranoia is going to be their downfall. If they try to keep these solutions from their customers, then sooner or later the customers are going to see them anyway and question why they are paying so much to their IT consultant. What they need to do is be proactive in selling these services to the customer as a reseller. It's not like cloud solutions come with zero support needs. Adapt or die.

  • User profile image
    Craig_​Matthews

    , AndyC wrote

    I really fail to see the logic of some of the commenters. Having looked into this in the past, Office 365 pretty much always comes out cheaper than SBS. And if your on-site premises internet connection has reliability/bandwidth issues, the absolute last thing you want to be doing is running your Exchange server at the end of it.

    The concern expressed by Exchange system administrators and those implementing Exchange for clients with regard to bandwidth generally has nothing to do with the Exchange server's interaction with the Internet (e.g. sending and receiving SMTP messages) and more to do with the Exchange server's interaction with on premesis clients such as Outlook.

    An Exchange server can be send/receive mail over dial up if need be and it wouldn't be a problem. Outlook, on the other hand, has a well known and understood history of experiencing noticeable performance degradation when talking to an Exchange server on the other side of a WAN link. This is why Microsoft implemented RPC over HTTPS for Outlook and why they also added cached Exchange mode (which has performance, reliability, and stability issues of its own).

    If you have a slow (or even a fast with high latency, like cable) Internet connection, the very first place to consider an Exchange server is on premesis.  System administrators don't care about bandwidth for exchanging SMTP messages with other mail servers on the Internet, that problem is solved with sensible configuration. Management, however, doesn't like when someone clicks File -> Open -> Other user's calendar, and it takes 30 seconds to open and a balloon pops up saying "Outlook is retrieving information from the Exchange server..." or their OST file gets corrupt because when syncing, for whatever reason, Outlook couldn't handle a high latency connection very well, hangs on the PC, and needs to be end tasked. Or someone logs into Office365, updates the global address book and everyone has to wait til Outlook decides it's convenient for it to update the locally cached address book, and then when it eventually decides it doesn't feel like it, the sysadmin needs to be called in to delete the local oab to force a recache.

    Sysadmins aren't resistant to Exchange in the cloud because it threatens their careers. They are resistant to it because Outlook blows at talking to an Exchange server at a cloud provider. Management teams who are resistant to the cloud, however, have reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with the sysadmin's career.

     

     

  • User profile image
    giovanni

    @wastingtimewithforums: Frankly I have a really hard time understanding why most small and medium businesses would need Exchange and Sharepoint on premises when there are offers like Office 365 that offer data center reliability/backups/updates well beyond what a small business can afford. I mean, what is the cost for redundant hardware, internet connection, backups to offer the same reliability a large datacenter can offer?

    And if you really need on premises servers for Exchange or sharepoint, you can always add them with physical or virtual servers.

  • User profile image
    giovanni

    @evildictaitor: I did not see your post but that is exactly what I meant.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    Exchange is garbage anyway. Just use Zimbra. I've been fortunate to work for organizations that either use Zimbra or have migrated off of Exchange to Zimbra while I was there.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    @giovanni:

    It's both a security and a lock in issue. I don't know how many businesses really want to store all their business information in a "public cloud". Also, it isn't clear how if I wanted to change providers, and if I picked one of Microsoft's cloud products, how I would go about doing that? It's not exactly clear.

  • User profile image
    giovanni

    @Bass: Well, at least for Office 365 there is a contract that says that the data in "public cloud" is yours and yours only (if what you say was true no small business would use Gmail). Frankly, how many small businesses have the money and recources to secure their server at the same lavel they are secured with a large provider? Do you know how expesive those Juno/Cisco/SonicWall appliences that keep you safe from attacks, spam, viruses are? Without taking into account redundant power supplies, UPS, disks, remote backups...

    If you can afford all of that, the extra cost for an on premise Windows Server and Exchange license is peanuts!

    Regarding your Exchange vs. Zimbra comment, it is a very good thing that there are choices and competition in computing. Saying that one is garbage does not bring anything interesting to this specific conversation.

  • User profile image
    Bass

    @giovanni:

    Exchange uses a proprietary and seemly intentionally obfuscated monolithic protocol that many mail clients don't support. Zimbra uses open standards like IMAP and CalDAV.

    The problem with Microsoft technology is they tend to only work properly with other Microsoft technology. I'm never encountered a situation where everything is 100% Microsoft technology in any organization I worked for, so using Exchange is makes people's lives harder and makes the organization less flexible. So it's not friendly competition, using or promoting Exchange or other tools like SharePoint (or any product based on closed standards or lock-in) is actually malicious.

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