According to a press release, Microsoft has announced a version of Windows designed for small businesses, named Windows Server 2008 Foundation. The low-cost server option is based on Windows Server 2008, but with reduced functionality. One example of this is the maximum number of licensed users, which has been reduced to a considerably smaller 15. However, for new or small businesses, the entry-level alternative to expensive server options may prove popular.
According to the Windows Server 2008 Foundation website, the operating system will not be available through a retail edition, rather, only available as an OEM option, for servers with it preinstalled, which are likely to be low cost ones. Naturally, it will have support for third-party applications that would normally run on Windows, but the operating system itself will essentially be a no-frills option for small businesses in need of simple server functions.
Intended for usage such as file sharing, printer sharing and terminal services, the server option offers a stripped down version of the more expensive products in the Windows Server range. However, Windows Server 2008 Foundation is fully upgradeable, allowing businesses to upgrade to the more expensive versions as they, and their server hardware, grow.
However, just how popular it will prove will depend on the costs of both the hardware and the operating system.