This week, Microsoft went official with the various flavors of its Windows Server 2012 product that will be available for acquisition once the platform goes generally available.
There will be four such versions coming to the market, namely Foundation, Essentials, Standard and Datacenter, the first of which will be available for OEMs alone.
According to Microsoft, the Essentials SKU of Windows Server
2012 is meant mainly for small/mid-size businesses, and comes with a limitation of only 26 users.
The same as with Windows 8 and other products in its lineup, Microsoft has tried to keep things simple with the upcoming platform release, so as to offer increased transparency.
The Foundation SKU arrives with a limitation of only 15 user accounts, was destined only for OEMs, and does not include virtualization rights.
The Essentials version, with the aforementioned 26-user limitation, comes with a simpler interface, pre-configured connectivity to cloud, and no virtualization rights. Pricing (Open No Level) was set at $425.
The Standard SKU offers full Windows Server functionality with two virtual instances. It should prove great for low density or non-virtualized environments, featuring a price tag of $882.
As for the Datacenter flavor – which comes with full Windows Server functionality with unlimited virtual instances – it was destined for highly virtualized private & hybrid cloud environments, and sports a cost of $4,809.
“Windows Server 2012
delivers a dramatically simplified licensing experience. Shaped by feedback from customers and partners, the new Windows Server licensing approach will help make choosing the right Windows Server easier while delivering the following benefits,” Microsoft notes
“It’s easier than ever to determine the right Windows Server edition for you. Choose from just four editions of Windows Server 2012, based on the size of your organization and your requirements for virtualization and cloud computing.”
According to Microsoft, enterprises will be able to easily choose the right SKU for them, depending on the type of service and environments they are running.