July 28, 2006 12:27 PM PDT

Microsoft recalls small-business product

REDMOND, Wash.--Microsoft said on Friday that it is recalling an update to its Small Business Server product because of a glitch found late in the manufacturing process.

The software maker said it found a problem with Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 after the product was released to computer makers but before it was made broadly available. Small Business Server is a product that combines the Windows Server operating system with the Microsoft Exchange e-mail server and other software. The R2 release is an update to the version that was finished in 2003.

"Recently, and during a regular audit as part of our software production process, Microsoft became aware of an issue with the final...software containing nonfinal versions of a few core components," Microsoft said in a statement provided to CNET News.com. "Since Microsoft has only just released SBS 2003 R2 to our manufacturing partners (OEMs, system builders and distributors), and it is not yet generally available to customers, the scope of this concern for partners and customers is very limited."

Microsoft said it was recalling and would reissue the software, and general availability of the product would see a "minor delay."

"Our customers and partners are our first priority, and while a short delay in availability of SBS 2003 R2 is unfortunate, delivering the highest-quality Small Business Server product to our customers and partners is the right thing to do," Microsoft said.

One analyst said the fact that a glitch can show up so late in Microsoft's manufacturing process shows the challenges the software maker faces as its software becomes ever more complex. That challenge is heightened by the fact that the company no longer relies on burning all of its products to CDs; it doesn't have the luxury of taking that time to find bugs.

"This isn't really a stellar advertisement for Microsoft's plan to roll out more and more complex software through automatic update," Directions on Microsoft analyst Rob Helm said.

While this glitch affected just a few people, Helm said, a problem with something going out over Automatic Update could potentially affect millions of people. Microsoft said earlier this week that it would use the autoupdating utility to deliver Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP.

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Microsoft Windows Small Business Server, Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003, glitch, manufacturing, computer company

6 comments

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This is why
This is why M$ is not ruling the Enterprise software world. They can't get it right for small business, and they certainly can't for Enterprises.

I design integration solutions for financial services sector clients, who handle trillions of dollars per day. This sort of failure is unacceptable in big business (BTW Biztalk performance sucks).
Posted by DryHeatDave (79 comments )
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They actually got it right!!!
Microsoft actually got it right. They just did not relax that they shipped the product for manufacturing...and wait to send the updates using auto update. To their credit they found the issue and are fixing it!!!

I agree that their solutions may not scale in enterprise. But, microsoft is a company that atleast attempts to learn from their mistake!!!

Show me one company that shipped product on time. Building software I am sure you know is not like building a house, it is like a completing a billion piece puzzle!!!
Posted by Tanjore (322 comments )
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Am I at risk?
I recently implemented a new SBS-2003 OEM server for one of my clients. How do I determine whether this recall affects me? Or should I just trust that Mr. Gates is going to contact me directly with the news (hehe)?
Posted by jlpeifer (1 comment )
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Not unless you installed R2
Which had very limited availablity. Most of the really good things in R2 are just service packs and SBS friendly interfaces for already available tools like WSUS.

I don't know why MS felt compelled to force SBS 2003 R2 out the door as fast as they did. IMHO they should have waited a bit longer, added ISA 2006 as one of the premium technologies and SQL 2005 Express as a replacement for all the MSDEs SBS uses.

All in all, it was better to recall R2 before there were any production installations of it.
Posted by webdev511 (254 comments )
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