Folks, in case you haven”t heard by now (and if this is the first place you”ve seen/heard this, then I probably have a few other blog suggestions for you to follow), the SBS Development Team released SBS 2008 to Manufacturing today. This means that the product will be in the channel in some form in the next 6-8 weeks. This marks the end of several years of development by Microsoft, and nearly two years of testing that I”ve been involved with, along with a lot of other people.
I think the development group has done an amazing job with the product given the circumstances. Is the product solid? Based on what I”ve seen, I think so. Does it have some holes? Without a doubt. But given that the team was essentially developing against a deadline and not against a feature set, this is understandable.
What does this release mean to you? If you”re a small business IT consultant (or at least play one on TV), it”s time for you to get off your duff and work with the product so you get to know it and, therefore, develop your ability to support it for your clients. If you are a business owner, it”s time to start thinking about if the upgrade makes good business sense to you.
I”ve already been seeing the arguments pro and con for the product out in the community,and for those that have asked about my take on it,my standard reply still stands – whether it makes sense to upgrade now or later depends entirely on the specifics of the client. Some people will need/want to move as soon as they can get their hands on the product. Others will wait until they have a clearer need for it. In my general conservative approach, I”m going to be taking a "wait and see" attitude for most of my clients. However, I have one that will be migrated pretty much as soon as we can get our hands on the software. It just depends.
Through this process, I”ve made some good friends on the Dev team, and I”ve been privileged to be involved in parts of the process that many people never get to see. I know they”re all relieved to have finished this product, and they deserve whatever celebration is in store for them. The folks that have worked countless hours to bring you SBS 2008 definitely deserve major kudos – this was not an easy product to produce, and those of us on the testing team were not the easiest people to work with. But in the end, I think we”re getting the best product that could be released at this time.
Over the next few weeks, I”ll be talking more about my observations about SBS 2008 both here and on eOnCall. I”m also in the last stages of working on SBS 2008 Unleashed for Sams, due for release in November of 2008. But if you really want to know what the product is about, you have no choice but to get your hands on it and start working with it. No amount of reading blogs or sitting through web seminars or watching demonstration videos will give you the experience you need to run or support this product. Get out there and get after it!