Microsoft yesterday revealed the new Windows Server 2012 lineup, reducing available versions from 12 to 4. These four editions can be divided into two groups: First the Full Windows Server group, that is made up of the Datacenter and Standard edition. These editions differ in the number of virtual instances they can run and the price that they are available for. What's interesting in this regard is that Microsoft has moved to a processor + CAL (Client Access License) model which the company believes is easier to work with.
Both cover 2 CPUs in a host, with Standard supporting up to 2 Virtual Operating System Environments, while Datacenter an unlimited number.
The remaining two server editions use a different licensing model. Both Server 2012 Essentials and Server 2012 Foundation have a user account limit per server. Essentials is limited to 25 users, while Foundation to 15. The latter will only be available to OEMs, the former primarily to small business environments.
|Edition||Ideal for…||High Level Feature|
Open NL (US$)
private & hybrid
|Processor + CAL*||$4,809**|
|Standard||Low density or non-|
with two virtual
|Processor + CAL*||$882**|
cloud based services; no
|Server (25 User|
|Server (15 User|
What about Windows Home Server? Microsoft has stated that the company is going to discontinue the product. It will be available until December 31, 2013 after which it will be retired from most channels. Microsoft notes in the Windows Server 2012 Essentials FAQ:
Windows Home Server has seen its greatest success in small office/home office (SOHO) environments and among the technology enthusiast community. For this reason, Microsoft is combining the features that were previously only found in Windows Home Server, such as support for DLNA-compliant devices and media streaming, into Windows Server 2012 Essentials and focusing our efforts into making Windows Server 2012 Essentials the ideal first server operating system for both small business and home use—offering an intuitive administration experience, elastic and resilient storage features with Storage Spaces, and robust data protection for the server and client computers.
Home users however may be in for quite the shock when they compare the price of the (recommended) Essentials edition to the price they have been paying for Windows Home Server 2011.
What is your take on the change and the discontinuation of Windows Home Server?
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.