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.