Bob here. Yesterday, Microsoft made an announcement that took a lot of folks by surprise. They announced (click here for the announcement) the end of a relatively new product line, EBS (Essential Business Server). Now, what does this mean to you? If you never heard of the product…well…nothing.

EBS was an attempt by Microsoft to bridge the 75 user limit of Small Business Server, and the larger enterprise. A combination of Windows Server, Exchange, and various security tools. But its lack of embracing virtualization and insistence of relying on some particular tools (see Hilton Travis’ excellent blog entry on it here).

Call it what you will. There’s no question that Microsoft was close to deploying version 2 of EBS, and that the folks who saw it thought it was great. But I think Microsoft recognized that two particular trends, Hosted solutions (ie, Google Apps and Microsoft’s BPOS) and virtualization made solutions such as EBS…quaint.