Small firms offered “substantially cheaper” Windows Server

Microsoft is launching a “substantially cheaper” version of Windows Server 2008, targeted specifically at small businesses.

Small firms offered

Called Windows Server 2008 Foundation the software will only support up to 15 users, strips out all virtualisation features, and will only run on single processor socket hardware.

Microsoft says Foundation is intended to provide “pure infrastructure” to small firms who want features such as shared file access, printer sharing and centralised patch management. “It’s aimed at businesses who want local server infrastructure on site but don’t necessarily want to move up to Small Business Server,” says Gareth Hall.

“In the current climate it’s becoming clear that there’s a new breed of small business customer that wants this local infrastructure solution, and we wanted to make sure that we can deliver something at that right price point to those guys.”

However, Microsoft isn’t prepared to reveal what that price is. Foundation will only be available pre-installed on server hardware from manufacturers such as Dell, HP, and IBM.

“Because it’s only available through the OEM channel the OEMs set the price,” Hall said. “It is substantially cheaper than Windows Server 2008 Standard. Put it this way, it’s not a small discount.”

Why limit the availability? “It’s about doing the right thing for the customer,” Hall claims. “North of 90% of customers in that environment buy OS and hardware together through the OEM.”

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