Microsoft launches Windows Server 2008 Foundation in Cebu

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Microsoft Philippines launched this morning in Cebu the Windows Server 2008 Foundation, its server solution for small and medium businesses.

Microsoft Philippines Geo-Expansion Lead Boy Bawal said the product will help small companies grow their businesses and boost their competitiveness.

Windows Server 2008 Foundation is a server solution that allows a company with less than 15 computer users to set up a network with file and print sharing, remote access, security and other general server capabilities. It comes bundled with server hardware that can cost as low as P57,000. Bawal said this is the first time that a server software is offered at this price point.

The product, Microsoft officials say, is targeted at first time server users.

For the first time, Bawal said companies no longer have to pay client access license for each user of the system.

Boy Bawal of Microsoft Philippines
SERVER FOR SMALL COMPANIES. Boy Bawal of Microsoft Philippines says that Windows Server 2008 Foundation is the first time that a server software is offered as a hardware bundle for as low as P57,000. He said the product will help small companies grow their businesses and boost their competitiveness.

Bill Hilf, general manager of Microsoft Corp. server and tools, said anyone with rudimentary computer skills can deploy the basic server function of the package. He said Windows Server 2008 Foundation offers onscreen software wizards that guide users in setting the system as a file server or any other network configuration.

Hilf said that in making the product, they had two key principles in mind: lower the price to make it affordable to smaller companies and make it simple to deploy.

Nicky Eala, server business group head of Microsoft Philippines, said the system is something small businesses can just buy, turn on and have a working office network.

Hilf said more advance functions of the server can be set up with the help of solutions providers. He said deployment of the system can help spur local information technology (IT) solutions providers. Hilf also said they system also offers an upgrade path to other more advance Microsoft server products.

Hilf said the Philippines is an unusual market because 99.7 percent of establishments are micro, small and medium enterprises. He said 92 percent are micro-enterprises that employ one to nine employees. He said these businesses employ 70 percent of the labor market.

Hilf said his team stayed with small companies throughout the world to figure out their IT needs and how Microsoft can help provide them with solutions. He said they would typically see workers of small companies line up at the end of the day to log out from a single PC terminal with their attendance being printed out by an attached printer.

He said they also saw company workers burn data generated throughout the working day on a compact disc (CD) or DVD to serve as backup.

He said many of these companies typically use multiple desktops and just share files using CDs and other devices.

Hilf said these types of companies will greatly benefit from a networked solution.

He also said that unlike regular desktops, servers are designed to be always on and fault-tolerant.

By packaging the system with the hardware of partners like HP and IBM, Hilf said users can just go to the vendor for both hardware and software support.

Hilf also said that for every purchase of the system, Microsoft will donate a portion to Techsoup.org and Telecentre.org, which are groups working to build the capabilities of nongovernment organizations worldwide.

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