Microsoft plans new entry-level Windows server


— 6:00 AM on February 26, 2009

Two years after announcing Windows Home Server, Microsoft has revealed plans for a new low-cost server operating system: Windows Server Foundation Edition. According to ZDNet, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told analysts during a recent conference call that the upcoming OS will come out "over the next month or two."

Apparently, Ballmer sees Windows Server Foundation Edition as something a bit like netbooks for the server world. ZDNet says the CEO explained during the conference call, "If you take a look at it, as server prices, hardware prices have come down, we don't exactly have a netbook phenomenon, but if somebody can buy a $500 server, they're a little loathe to spend $500 for the server operating system that goes with it. So we have something that's akin to netbook at the server level."

Judging by Ballmer's description, the new server OS could be a little less limited than Windows Home Server—although it probably won't have all the features of something like Windows Small Business Server 2008, which starts at $1,089. In an older report, Paul Thurrott wrote that Microsoft would target emerging markets with the Foundation Edition release. Thurrott went on to say that, if Microsoft handles things wisely, small businesses and enthusiasts might be able to join the fun, too.

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