Well, just in case you didn't have enough Windows 7 editions to go around, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer announced a fresh addition to the lineup, but this time on the server side. Speaking at the “Strategic Update” presentation for Wall Street analysts on February 24, 2009, Ballmer indicated that Microsoft was cooking the addition of Foundation Edition to the Windows 7 Server SKU lineup
. In this regard, Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation Edition is the latest item to be added to the extensive list of Windows 7 editions.
“We are introducing a new low cost, low price, low functionality Windows server SKU. If you take a look at it, as server prices, hardware prices have come down, we don’t exactly have a netbook phenomenon, but if somebody can buy a $500 server, they’re a little loathe to spend $500 for the server operating system that goes with it. So we have something that’s akin to netbook at the server level, and we’ll be introducing our Foundation Edition over the next month or two,” Ballmer said according to Mary Jo Foley
At the start of February 2009, Microsoft made public its plans related to the Windows 7 Stock Keeping Unit strategy, but only for the client, revealing that it would offer the next version of Windows in the following editions: Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate. And in the same manner in which the company is targeting netbooks with Windows 7 client, it will also address buyers of cheap servers with Windows Server 2008 R2 Foundation Edition.
When it introduced Windows Server 2008 RTM/SP1, the company made available these SKUs, Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter, Web Server, and Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems. Already Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta was offered for download in the Enterprise, Standard, Datacenter, Web Server and Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta for Itanium Based Systems editions. Judging by the price alone, the Foundation Edition will be addressed primarily at emerging markets, but Microsoft has yet to confirm details officially.
“You may have heard that earlier today Steve Ballmer referenced we are working on an addition to the Windows server Family named Foundation Server,” revealed
a member of the Windows Server Division at Microsoft. “While we don’t have any details to share now, we are very excited about the opportunity this entry-level server will bring to our customers and partners. Look for more information coming in the next few months!”
Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta (Windows 7 Server Beta) is available for download here