Microsoft has announced that “Windows SBS 2011 Standard, which includes Exchange Server and SharePoint Foundation as component products, will be the final such Windows Server offering.” From the Windows Server 2012 Essentials FAQ
After the initial adjustment to the major shift in my personal perspective of the business networking world, we beginning to see that the reports of the death of SBS are exaggerated. SBS 2011 will continue to enjoy mainstream support until around 2015 or 2016 and extended support until roughly 2020. (The exact support lifecycle for SBS is determined by the individual products which make up the particular SBS version and edition.)
Some members of the community argue that this will cost clients more. In many cases the person advancing the argument leaves out the support costs in their analysis.
We aren’t done paying for SBS when we license it. Think back over the last three to five years. What is the cost paid for applying service packs and patches to Exchange or SharePoint? How many times have those products caused some additional issues that bore an additional cost to resolve? Those costs are included in the cloud price.
In the longer term, the difference in overall costs will be situational for small businesses; for some it may be more, for some it may be less. The revenues from those costs may be distributed differently, but for my size client (10-25 seats) I don’t foresee earth shattering change, whether they stay on premise or deploy Office 365.
n.b. http://www.twainquotes.com/Death.html displays a copy of the letter containing Mark Twain’s quote that I have used as the title for this post.