The low end of Windows 7 – Starter Edition – has already been discussed quite a bit across the blogosphere, and its big brother is a bit jealous. Like the future desktop version, Windows Server 2008 Foundation is intended to go lower (in price and functionality) than prior releases of the operating system. Get em hooked, get em to upgrade is always the name of the game in software, isn’t it?
Windows 7 Starter Edition will have a “cap” of 3 applications and doesn’t support customized wallpaper from what I hear.
Windows Server 2008 Foundation will have a “cap” of 15 users, doesn’t include or support Hyper-V, and cannot be used on multi-core machines (multiprocessors are OK). It will be primarily targeted for small companies and emerging economies such as China, Brazil, and India. Better to have something cheap compared to promoting further piracy, I guess. Cheap is about $150-200, compared with Windows 2008 standard which you can find for about $500.
In the US market, I think it could be a new option for home users who are looking to build their own sandboxes with “real” servers and don’t want to pay full price for a higher-end product. The lack of Hyper-V support is unfortunate, because I think a lot of people would want to get their hands on this technology, at least to test out and learn. And if people can put apps (Exchange, SQL) on it, they (Microsoft) should theoretically get the licensing revenue anyway…