Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has announced that a preview of its Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008 is available for customer evaluation on the company's Web site.

The solutions, which will be available later this year, combine Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2007, SQL Server 2008 and other Microsoft products and services into all-in-one IT solutions, making them easier to implement than separate products. Customers will also be able to purchase single client access licenses, so they pay only for the number of employees using the product.

"Small and midsize companies are looking for many of the same IT capabilities and benefits as those sought by large enterprises," Ray Boggs, vice president of Small/Medium Business Research at IDC, said in a statement. "But the technology has to be delivered as part of simpler, integrated and more affordable solutions for organizations with minimal IT staffs and resources. And of course it helps if solutions are also tailored to meet the needs of technology consultants that often work with those small and midsize firms."