Windows Server 2012 Has Only Four Versions

Windows Server 2012 Has Only Four Versions

Windows 8 has far fewer editions than previous versions, and the same trend is evident in its enterprise sibling Windows Server 2012. Microsoft is planning just four main versions, and dropping two of the lower-end options: Small Business Server and Windows Home Server.

Picture from TechNet

When Windows Server 2012 drops (which is expected to be in parallel with Windows 8, and very likely by October) there will be four editions, largely delineated by whether or not they can run virtual instances. The Foundation version will only be available to hardware manufacturers, has a 15-user limit, and can’t utilise virtualisation features. The Essentials edition is similarly restricted with virtualisation features and has a 25-user limit. The Standard version can run up to two virtual instances, while the Datacenter edition can run unlimited virtual instances.

Charging for the two virtualised editions is per-processor, rather than per-user. Overall pricing for Australia hasn’t yet been announced (and will vary hugely depending on the licensing deals you have in place with Microsoft).

Windows Home Server never got much traction in the Australian market, so I’m not sure there’ll be a huge outcry about its demise. The disappearance of Small Business Server is likely to create a bigger outcry, but I’d argue lots of small businesses would be better off ditching servers entirely and moving to a cloud solution where feasible.



  • Are you sure they are dropping SBS, as with Server 2008 was a separate product entirely to SBS2011. It is my understanding Server2012 will be separate to SBS2014

    • I did read somewhere early this morning on another tech web site that it showed Small Business Server (25 Users). Currently the SBS is good for 50 users so if that’s true and they are lowing it to 25, that’s a very bold move by M$.

      • Very true Yannick but I see huge advantages for the Win8 Surface Pro in a lot of areas. One that I am starting to talk to clients about and a lot of them are very interested in it. So far two clients are on the books as testers 🙂

  • Some business and how they operate their business are not suited for the cloud. Everyone touts it as the best and greatest but simply for some business it is not feasible with how they operate and what they expect from their IT investment. I dearly hope the SBS product line will continue.

  • Cloud solutions for small businesses in Australia aren’t there yet- internet connections are still too expensive and too low in bandwidth in many places.

    • Have you had a look at 365? Even if your internet connection is wonderful the offering still sucks. Want to change permissions on who can view your calendar? You have to run a script. No more “right click”, ‘Permissions”, “add user” etc.
      It’s taken a reasonable email server that is fairly easy for normal (i.e. non-IT) users to do some fairly complex tasks and made it almost impossible to use unless you have a email admin on staff. That’s not something which most SBS customers will have.

  • No cloud for me, I love my servers as I can be master of my own domain, among other benefits.

    I will be quite upset if they stop selling SBS and force is to purchase Windows Servers and Exchange Server separately….

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