Tech pros vent fury over Microsoft SBS axe

Meanwhile, Microsoft channel watcher, Richard Tubb, said news of the product's axe had left a bad taste in the mouth of IT professionals and end users.

"Many SMB-focused IT businesses around the world are built on the back of providing and supporting SBS," he explained.

"The move to the cloud is acknowledged as inevitable, but many end users either can't (due to poor broadband) or don't (due to privacy concerns) want a cloud solution.

"Personally, I saw the SBS Standard and Premium products having a finite shelf-life, but [didn't think they] would disappear completely for many years, until cloud matures."

Microsoft is forcing people to accept its cloud worldview.

The move also contradicts a lot of the cloud rhetoric Microsoft has previously spouted about adoption being at end users own pace, he added.

"For Microsoft to end-of-life the product and remove it from sale smacks of not trying to persuade SMBs to move to the cloud, but of removing any other options for them," said Tubb. "In effect, they're forcing people to accept their worldview."

However, Andy Trish, managing director of long-time Microsoft partner NCI Technologies, said unhappy end users and suppliers could easily take their business elsewhere.

"I don't mind them bringing out a new product, but I really object to them taking away any other products that compete with it," he said.

"And, if they're going to take away the one product you sell most of to your clients when it is clearly something they still want, you have to find an alternative," he added.

IT Pro approached Microsoft for comment, but was directed to the SBS Blog post referred to at the start of the story.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.