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As Microsoft’s partners prepare for the pending release of Windows Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008, the software giant is readying a raft of both technical and sales resource tools. The products are scheduled for release in the second half of 2008.

“Microsoft is aware that the success of these products is very dependent on our partners and [small and midsize] business customers also being successful with them,” said Aanal Bhatt, Microsoft partner marketing manager. As a result, Microsoft has both sales and technical resources either in place or pending for partners.

Microsoft partners can find resources intended for them at, such as Webcasts about the new products. In addition, partners can download the PowerPoint files of those Webcasts to customize and use in their own presentations to their SMB customers. The site also has brochures, case studies and customer quotes available in PDF and video formats for the partners to use in their sales materials and presentations.

Partners may also direct their customers to, which is a site that Microsoft has created as a destination for its SMB customers.

“As the product release dates get closer, Microsoft will continue to add many more materials to these sites,” promised Bhatt. Those include what she calls a “cookbook,” which will be an online, interactive and user-friendly site where partners click on tabs and links about topics and the products.

Microsoft currently offers a business and technology assessment tool kit for its partners to use to assess their clients’ needs in a systematic fashion at; that site currently has information geared toward Small Business Server 2003, but it will be revised with information about SBS 08 and EBS 08 as the release dates approach, Bhatt said.

Partners will also be able to find live and local training events about SBS 08 and EBS 08 at Microsoft’s country-specific local partner Web sites, such as