Microsoft to ship Windows Server 2008, over time, in eight flavors

Microsoft to ship Windows Server 2008, over time, in eight flavors

Summary: Microsoft is readying eight SKUs of Windows Server 2008, only some of which will include Hyper-V (the new name for Microsoft's hypervisor that was code-named "Viridian"). And, according to early reports from Microsoft's TechEd IT Forum, the hypervisor-inclusive SKUs might not ship until the latter half of 2008.


Microsoft is readying eight SKUs of Windows Server 2008, only some of which will include Hyper-V (the new name for Microsoft's hypervisor that was code-named "Viridian").

Microsoft to ship Windows Server 2008, over time, in eight flavorsAccording to, which is reporting from the TechEd IT Forum in Barcelona, Microsoft has finalized the WIndows Server 2008 line-up as follows:

  • Windows Server 2008 Standard with Hyper-V
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise with Hyper-V
  • Windows Server 2008 DataCenter with Hyper-V
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard without Hyper-V
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise without Hyper-V
  • Windows Server 2008 DataCenter without Hyper-V
  • Windows Server 2008 Web Edition without Hyper-V
  • Windows Server 2008 Itanium Edition without Hyper-V

When Windows Server 2008 ships in early 2008, the final hypervisor bits won't be baked into the product, as Microsoft officials have said. The plan of record has been that a beta version would be baked into the Windows Server 2008 SKUs that include Hyper-V. Users were to be able to upgrade to the final Hyper-V once it was done -- using Windows Server Update Services or System Center Configuration Manager 2007, ActiveWin says.

But Computerworld UK is reporting that Microsoft won't be shipping the versions of Windows Server 2008 that include the baked-in hypervisor until six months after the February 2008 launch of the product.

Computerworld was wrong. Microsoft is not delaying the versions with Hyper-V by six months. Microsoft will ship all eight versions simultaneously, officials said, but will advise customers against deploying in production the Hyper-V-inclusive releases until the final hypervisor bits are available, which should be in the third calendar quarter of 2008. It's up to interpretation whether Microsoft's guidance, re: deployment in production, constitutes a "delay" or not.

ActiveWin also says Microsoft is planning to release a Windows Server version with only Hyper-V installed on it. This extremely low-footprint version would also be very low-priced. ActiveWin says they hear it could be as low as $28.

Update: The $28 version is a standalone hypervisor, Hyper-V Server, which is for Windows-less servers on which administrators want to run Linux or Unix in virtualized mode, according to Microsoft. It's a SKU for consolidating workloads.

Pricing for the other Windows Server SKUs will range from $971 for the WIndows Server 2008 Standard Without Hyper-V, to Windows Server 2008 Enterprise With Hyper-V (and 25 CALs) for $3,999, according to Computerworld UK.

Topics: Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Servers, Software, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • It's deja Vista all over again

    If MS is fielding eight versions of anything, you can bet that means it will cost you more for the version you actually need.

    And they just can't get over their addiction to CAL's. It's not enough to buy the server software, you have to buy the right for users to connect to it. Nice work when you can get it. More money for absolutely no value to the customer.

    Funny people would question why I don't use many MS products at home.
    • I think people question more

      on why you bother to post at all.
      • I have to question why'd you bother responding ? <NT>

    • To Many Chefs Spoils the Pot

      Here are some of Microsoft's exciting new editions of Server and Vista:
      * Vista Professional Edition
      * Vista Semi-Professional Edition
      * Vista Slightly Professional Edition
      * Vista Complete Amateur Edition
      * Vista Server Edition
      * Vista Server Premium Edition
      * Vista Server Not Bad But Not As Good As Premium Edition
      * Vista Server My Other Edition Is Premium Edition Edition
      * Vista 5 User License Edition
      * Vista Site License Edition
      * Vista Country License Edition
      * Vista Planetary License Edition
      * Vista Galaxy License Edition
      * Vista Universe License Edition
      * Vista Universe License Without Windows Media Player Edition*
      * Vista Home Edition
      * Vista Home Premium Edition
      * Vista Home Premium Edition With Some Server Features
      * Vista Home I Can't Believe It's Not Server Edition
      * Vista Away From Home But Have My Laptop With Me Edition
      * Vista Gamers Edition
      * Vista Mostly Play Games but Also Like to Surf the Net Edition
      * Vista Boot Straight Into World of Warcraft and Never Be Seen Again Edition
      * Vista Just Read Email And Clean Up Viruses Edition
      * Vista Downloaded Via Bittorrent Just Wait For The Subpoena Edition
      * Vista Erases Your iPod Edition (with Free Creative Player Voucher Included)
      * Vista Beginners Edition
      * Vista Intermediate Edition
      * Vista Advanced Edition
      * Vista Write My Own Drivers Edition
      * Vista One Finger On The Reset Button Edition
      * Vista Uninstall And Reinstall XP Edition
      * Vista ME Just Joking! Practical Jokers Edition
      • LOL

        loved the list...Mike Cox officially has competition =).

    • I thought people liked choice?

      Microsoft is giving people more choices here, and choice is a good thing isn't it? Sure beats offering one or two server SKUs and forcing everyone to choose one or the other.

      The big difference between this and consumer Vista is that server OSes are chosen by IT professionals who are more knowledgable and better able to decide which SKU is right for them.
      • True.....

        Then they get strangled by accountants who invariably ask, "Can't you make due with the cheaper one?".
  • RE: Microsoft to ship Windows Server 2008, over time, in eight flavors

    Here's a link to the microsoft PR about it.
    • 15 SKUs!

      Welcome to the laugh that is modern MS, and listen to the MS fanboys defend

      "All will be available in 32-bit or 64-bit versions, with the exception of Windows
      Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems, which will only be available as a 64-bit

      15 versions, hilarious. Maybe a fanboy can enlighten us to why you'd bother with a
      Hyper-V-less version when the difference in price is USD28. Windows Server 2008
      Enterprise customers get four virtual instances per license for 4 times the price of
      Standard, so why bother with a different SKU except for MS withholding
      comparatively trivial tools from the less expensive versions e.g. clustering tools
      and MIIS.

      Whilst others are offering unlimited client licenses (Linux, Mac OS X Server, etc) MS
      persists with CALs.

      The comparison with MS and the competition could not have been better
      Richard Flude
  • $971 for Standard... :( Wonder how much the SBS 2k8 cost?

    Time for me to cough up my money (I'm in a very low income, when it comes to college)...

    I wouldn't go with Linux (hate to mention it) because I wanted to use Microsoft .net Framework with some other server features, like managing IIS 7.0. Plus, DHCP Server, Network Policy Access, etc.
    Grayson Peddie
    • There is no Small Bussiness Server on that List

      Hello there
      As I Can see, there is no SBS on the List that MJ Foley pasted in her article.-

      this could lead that MS will be removing that Server Edition from their SKU.

      Let's wait...
      • It doesn't have to be in the list...

        But there's a Small Business Server version of Windows Server 2003.
        Grayson Peddie
      • SBS and MBS

        I read some place on Microsoft web site that, they are going to create both SBS and Medium Business Server (I think it is in the 50 to 150 User range). I can't find the reference right now so treat this as a rumor.

  • Eight is NOT enough...

    I have hired Dick van Patten as a marketing agent for Windows Server 2008 with the tagline "Windows Server 2008: 8 is NOT Enough". There are so many opportunities for more versions of Windows Server 2008. For example, I told my rep "why give Active Directory away for free?". My recommendations: Windows Server 2008 w/AD and Windows Server 2008 w/o AD. Of course then you would have the usual hypervisor choices so you end up now with 12 versions assuming Enterprise and Standard. When Mr. van Patten said he had no idea about Windows Server, I told him to sit down, be quiet and be glad he is collecting some money.
    Mike Cox
  • Only 8 versions?

    That's only moderately cofusing. Microsoft is slipping...
    • And people say there's too many Linux distros!

      Eight and counting, it seems.

      Gee, if they keep this up there'll be more versions of Windows as there are major and minor Linux and BSD distros.

      That'll keep Axey going!


      • RE: And people say there's too many Linux distros!

        It is only one version of Windows. One moderately complete server. The other 7 are the same server with progressively more functionality stripped out. Totally different that the difference between Mandriva Linux and Ubuntu Linux, for example.
  • RE: Microsoft to ship Windows Server 2008, over time, in eight flavors

    I don't understand why you don't just buy one basic version of the OS at the store, or online or whatever medium you like best, and then when you install it it gives you the option of buying upgraded features, which are downloaded (or sent on a DVD if you somehow have no internet access.) That seems simple enough to me.

  • If it were like buying Cat-Food...

    Customer: I'd like a 5 pounder of KittyCrunch please.

    Clerk: Dumps 5 pounds of loose KittyCrunch on the counter.

    Customer: Can I get the bag it came in?

    Clerk: Oh, you want "KittyCrunch, portable edition".

    Customer: I guess....

    Clerk: Scrapes loose catfood off of counter into a Glad Bag.

    Customer: Can I get the ORIGINAL bag?

    Clerk: Oh, you don't want an OEM Copy...

    Customer: No, I want the normal, everyday MFR bagged version.

    Clerk: Ok. Puts MFR bag of KittyCrunch on the counter.

    Custome: I need a bag of StinkStep Litter too please. 10 pounds.

    Clerk: Dumps 10 pounds of StinkStep on the counter.

    Customer: Oh, geez... Here we go again.

    Clerk: Oh, ok. You want the full retail. Puts MFR bagged version on the counter.

    Clerk: We have a special bundle. 5 pounds of KittyCrunch with 10 pounds of StinkyStep. It will save you $5.

    Customer: Sure!

    Clerk: Puts 1 glad bag of KittyCrunch and 1 glad bag of StinkStep on the counter.

    Customer: FULL MFR packaging please!

    Clerk: Oh, I'm sorry. The bundle is only availabe in OEM packaging. And, you have to send the StinkyStep droppings to Microsoft monthly to ensure the KittyCrunch and StinkyStep is only being used by ONE cat.

    Customer: Enough! Just give my a 5 pound bag of MFR Packaged KittyCrunch and a 10 pound bag of MFR Packaged StinkyStep.

    Clerk: Sorry, we just ran out. ETA for the nezt build is 3 months from now.

    Customer: DAMMIT! I want to speak to a manager!

    Clerk: No problem. I do need your credit card number, however, as it is $35 per visit with the manager.
    Clerk: Or, I can provide you with our KittySelect program, which provides all Food and litter you need for one year, as well as Manager Support (3 incidents) during that year. Bear in mind, transport media is not included, and you need to provide your own bags.

    Customer: This is too hard to maintain... I think I'll just buy a Penquin...

    Clerk: You can do that, but be advised that there may be legal issues with keeping a Penquin, and you may be liable for any legal actions arising from it's use.

    Customer: Leaves, goes next door, and buys a Leopard. All necessary support items were carefully crafted and stored in the box. Includes 90 days of manager vists. Also purchased "LeopardCare" to extend that to 3 years. Gives cat to next door neighbor, along with leftover KittyCrunch and StinkyStep. StinkyStep activation fails, and entire house gets stunk up beyond belief...