Microsoft detailed Windows Server 2008 prices. Compared to Windows Server 2003, they increased by 1% only. If you take inflation into account, then one has to admit that Windows Server got cheaper. This is interesting if you relate it to the price raise of Windows Vista.
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Of course, the reason is not that producing Vista was more expensive than Windows Server 2008. Both operating systems have much in common. You could say that Windows Server 2008 just has some additional features. The market for Windows 2008 is smaller than for Vista, but Microsoft is growing faster here. Since there is a bigger demand, they could have raised the prices.
However, there is only one reason why Microsoft keeps the prices low for server products. In the desktop market customers don't have much choice, mostly because competitors are too weak here. In the server market, things look a bit different. But Microsoft is on the right track when it comes to having a monopoly in this market as well. And that's likely to happen soon. Windows Server 2008 could be a milestone in this project.
For us customers, this means nothing good. This could be the last time we'll enjoy these relatively modest prices:
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- Windows Server 2008 Standard, $999 (with five Client Access Licenses, or CALs)
- Standard without Hyper-V, $971 (with five CALs);
- Enterprise, $3,999 (with 25 CALs)
- Enterprise without Hyper-V, $3,971 (with 25 CALs)
- Datacenter, $2,999 (per processor)
- Datacenter without Hyper-V, $2,971 (per processor)
- Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-based Systems, $2,999 (per processor)
- Windows Web Server 2008, $469