Microsoft have been busily refreshing their Server offerings, and one heavily in development is Windows Small Business Server “7”. One can only assume they’re still quarrelling with the marketing department on what to call it. Refreshingly for me at least is the effort they are putting into the user interface, not using the rather awkward Windows Classic Vista-ish-but-no-Aero theme. Our intern Hannah O’Neill has a few tips for those wanting to get to grips with the latest Small Business Server.

Something everyone should be aware of when installing SBS 7. You must have a partition of 80GB as a minimum but 120GB is the recommended partition size! I made the mistake of trying to install it on a 79GB partition and had to start again!


There is now a useful feature called Active Directory Administrative Center which gives the administrators greater control over the server, users and computers. It allows the administrators to change a users password a lot easier and quicker as they no longer have to search for the user! Just type in the username and a new password and its done. Along with this it gives the administrators the ability to access computers and a lot of other features a lot quicker and easier. The administrators to add critera to show. Such as showing users with disabled/enabled accounts, users with expired passwords, or computers running as a given domain controller type. These are optional things that administrators can add for ease of viewing.

Remote Web Access has a completely different look and feel in SBS 7 than it did in SBS 2008.  It gives the users the ability to view public and shared files on the server and allows them to upload and download files from these folders to their own desktops.

Outlook Web Access has changed name to Outlook Web App. It has the feel of Hotmail (but more cluttered) and themes can be applied which change the Outlook Web App banner! Users have been given the ability to change their passwords within the browser window as well as changing a wide variety of options about the way Outlook Web Access Works. Administrators can manage their own account, the organisation and other users through the browser using Exchange Server. Sharepoint and Exchange 2010 are incorporated into SBS 7!

Overall SBS 7 is very similar to SBS 2008 but has newly added and updated features. Windows 7 Snap has been incorporated into SBS 7. Remote Web Access feels more streamlined (even if it was a little slow during testing) and organised and Outlook Web App is more userfriendly even if it does look a little cluttered. Being able to upload and download through Remote Web Access is a step in the right direction and allows users greater control over their files.