Article

Microsoft slims down content management software

Margie Semilof

Microsoft said on Tuesday it will release a scaled-down version of its content management server, targeting customers in small businesses who want to build and manage content for the Web.

The standard edition of Content Management Server 2002 will be released later this year, said Trina Seinfeld, a product manager at Microsoft. Pricing has not been determined, but she said it will be priced relative to Microsoft's other standard edition e-business servers.

Customers will be able to run the server on a single CPU, and it will have a 15-user limit, Seinfeld said. Other than that, it will have all the capabilities and features of the enterprise edition.

"We recognize that the current version was targeted at the enterprise, and we heard consistently from customers and partners that they'd like a scaled-back version for smaller organizations," Seinfeld said.

At least one analyst thought the release of a smaller content server was a smart move on Microsoft's part, given that customers in smaller companies have the same business needs as those in larger organizations, just on a different scale.

"They used to say that content was king, but content can also be a killer," said Dana Gardner, an analyst at the Yankee Group, a Boston consulting firm. "It's often a mess. This is true for departments of enterprises as well as for small business customers."

Gardner said that major vendors have prepared products for large enterprises, but

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Microsoft has also wisely put together some compelling packages for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

"These customers are already using [Microsoft] Office, so they already have a foot in the door," Gardner said. "To give them a means to create content, which is Office, and now let them control, manage and repurpose the content makes a lot of sense."

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