Microsoft has halved the number of variations it will offer to the Windows Server 2012 product line when it is released later this year, offering four versions of the server operating system instead of eight.
Under the simplified product line-up, Windows Server Datacentre and Windows Server Standard will have the same feature set but offer distinct virtualisation rights; where the Datacentre edition provides unlimited virtualisation, Windows Server Standard Edition stops at two virtual instances per license.
Microsoft said it had begun trialling the server software with dozens of clients globally, including in Australia and New Zealand.
Microsoft Australia would not reveal any local customers trialing the new operating system but said it had “a number” across different industries participating in the program.
New Zealand database administrator and content manager Springer Healthcare's Auckland subsidiary, Dave Dustin, welcomed the changes.
"The standardisation of the feature set across the different editions is something was long overdue," Dustin told CRN sister site iTnews.
He said the 2012 version of the operating system meant modern features were now being promoted towards lower levels of the market. The strategy was a change in tack for Microsoft, which had previously restricted some features to higher-level versions of the operating system, restricting adoption for small to medium businesses.
"Having to spend over $20,000 just to enable functionality is a major roadblock for many companies, leading to the situation we have now with a lower-than-expected adoption rate for Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2," Dustin says.
"With Windows Server 2012, companies can get what they need without breaking the bank."
Changes to the server line-up has seen Microsoft ditch the Windows Home Server platform, a regrettable but not unexpected choice, Dustin said, due to the increase in mobile device use, cloud storage systems and streaming media services.
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Issue: 324 | February 2014
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