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Microsoft discontinuing midmarket server

Company is axing its Windows Essential Business Server, a combination of server software aimed at midsize businesses.

Microsoft is discontinuing its Windows Essential Business Server product, a bundle aimed at midsize businesses, the company said Friday.

The product combined Windows Server 2008, the Exchange e-mail server, and management tools into a single software package.

Here is Microsoft's announcement about the end of Windows Essential Business Server. Screenshot by CNET

"We are streamlining our portfolio and will discontinue future development of EBS," Microsoft said in a note on its Web site. The company said it will stop selling the current version of the software as of June 30.

Though fairly new to the market, the product had been a long time in development. It was first announced in 2005 under the code-name Centro.

Microsoft said it will continue its lower-end Windows Small Business Server, which combines Exchange and Windows Server in a package for smaller companies.

The software maker also announced an offer that will allow EBS customers to get licenses for free for the individual products that make up the bundle. The offer runs from June 30 through the end of the year.

Microsoft said it will continue to support the product through the normal lifecycle.

"This decision not to ship future versions of EBS does not come lightly and will not impact any other Windows Server products and solutions, including the next version of Windows Small Business Server," Microsoft said Friday in a blog posting. "We are working hard to build the next version of SBS and look forward to a second decade of success with this award winning small business offering. There is a tremendous amount of talent and expertise on the EBS product development team and Microsoft is committed to transitioning members of the EBS product team to work on other projects within the Microsoft Server and Cloud division."