Pricing, "Hyper V" announced for Windows Server 2008

Whatever you think about Microsoft, they do know how to keep the hype machine at maximum momentum for months. Windows Server 2008 will be officially launched in February, but announcements continue to dribble out in bits and pieces. The latest round of news occurred today at TechEd IT in Barcelona. Pricing for the eight versions of Windows Server 2008 (yes, eight!) was announced, as was a "new" product called Hyper-V. Hyper-V is, of course, the final marketing name for Viridian. Perhaps most significantly for enterprise IT users, Microsoft announced a program to validate the performance of non-Microsoft virtualization platforms on Windows 2008.

The news on pricing was that it's not news. Windows Server 2008 will more-or-less be priced the same as 2003. Although Microsoft is officially announcing a 1 percent increase, the listed prices matched current MSRP for 2003. (See below for specifics.)

Again, not much new was really announced about Hyper-V/Viridian, except perhaps that Microsoft listed the server makers that have promised to support it/ship with it once it becomes available. The Hyper-V technology is slated to ship 180 days after Windows Server 2008 hits release-to-manufacturing. The Hyper-V Server will ship 90 days after the Hyper-V technology is made available. These include Dell, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, IBM, Lenovo, NEC and Unisys. The MSRP for Microsoft Hyper-V Server will be a negligible $28.

The real news could be the Server Virtualization Validation Program for non-Microsoft virtualization products. The press release quoted Novell's Roger Levy, senior vice president and general manager of Open Platform Solutions, hinting that Suse Linux will be first to achieve Server Virtualization Validation - which is nothing less than what the market should expect, given the Microsoft/Novell relationship. How quickly other vendors (VMware?) will be to hop on the Microsoft validation program remains to be seen. But it does look like the program is a generally good idea, according to CIO Weblog:

"Microsoft announced a "Server Virtualization Validation Program" for non-Microsoft virtualization platforms... a smart move on Redmond's part, both in terms of making it easy to use their products in other environments and as a mechanism to rope in other virtualization software providers with Microsoft standards (using the omnipresent "We can't support you if you don't" argument) or deflect blame in the event of poor integration or performance. The first target platform for this program appears to be Xen running on Novell's Suse Linux, given the existing relationship between the companies."

Here's the specifics on the pricing from the Microsoft press release.

Pricing for all Windows Server 2008 products will be increasing by approximately 1 percent for all distribution channels. Estimated MSRP* are listed by each version below:

  • Windows Server 2008 Standard: $999 (with five Client Access Licenses, or CALs)
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise: $3,999 (with 25 CALs)
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter: $2,999 (per processor)
  • Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems: $2,999 (per processor)
  • Windows Web Server 2008: $469
  • Windows Server 2008 Standard without Hyper-V: $971 (with five CALs)
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise without Hyper-V: $3,971 (with 25 CALs)
  • Windows Server 2008 Datacenter without Hyper-V: $2,971 (per processor)
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