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Windows Server 2008 to come in 8 flavors

Viridian gets a name and a $28 price tag

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Microsoft is hashing out the finalized details today on the oft-delayed Windows Server 2008. Most notably, Microsoft will release eight SKUs of the platform when it ships in late February 2008.

Only some will include the Viridian hypervisor — which has been renamed Hyper-V. Users can choose to go with or without the hypervisor in the software gamut, which runs from Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter editions in 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

Windows Server 2008 Standard is $999 with Hyper-V and five Client Access Licenses. It retails for $971 without Hyper-V.

Enterprise Edition is $3,999 with Hyper-V and 25 CALs. Enterprise is $3,971 without Hyper-V.

Datacenter edition retails for $2,999 per processor with Hyper-V, and $2971 without.

The Web Server edition, designed for a single-purpose web server costs $469 and comes without Hyper-V.

Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based systems costs $2,999 per processor and also comes without the hypervisor. Itanium Edition, of course, only comes in a 64-bit version.

In a nice move, Microsoft will also vend Hyper-V server, a standalone hypervisor-based virtualization product, which they say will complement Hyper-V within Windows Server 2008. The software will let customers consolidate workloads onto a single physical server. It will retail for $28.

This cheap code is an obvious jab at VMware, which gives away a base version of its server virtualization code.

You have to wonder, however, why Microsoft even bothered to put a price on the hypervisor layer. $28 just seems like a nuisance.

Microsoft has rebuffed the idea of allowing server OEMs to embed its hypervisor in the memory of their systems as is all the rage right now with VMware and XenSource/Citrix. Perhaps the standalone product marks a changing of this stance. ®

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