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