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Unfair business or smart business?
I recently attended an event announcing the release of Microsoft's Small
Business Server. MS SBS is a suite of software tools that run on top of
Windows NT Server 4.0, marketed as the panacea for the communication and
collaboration needs of small businesses.
An interesting aspect of the demo was the Internet Connection Wizard. From
the marketing literature:
"Internet Connection Wizard automates the location of, selection of, and
connection to an Internet provider, automatically configuring Microsoft
Exchange Server to send and receive electronic mail across the Internet,
enables on-line registration of a second-tier domain name, and takes
advantage of Microsoft Modem Sharing Server, making it easy for small
businesses to be connected to the Internet."
When Microsoft ran the demo, two Internet service providers appeared on the
list (Sprynet and Verio) of ISP's with whom the end-user could enroll
automatically. What I discovered later is that ISP's must pay a tidy
recurring fee in order to appear on this list of "preferred" providers. Is
a small business going to choose the best ISP available, or the ISP who has
paid money to be endorsed by the manufacturer of their business operating
system, their business productivity applications, and their desktop OS? If
Small Business Server is successful, Microsoft is then in a position to
dictate how much ISPs must pay to get on the list or remain on the list of
I will be curious to see the comments from the group on this topic.
This posting if offered as my opinion as a concerned member of the IT