One of the things I'm most excited about Windows Server 2008 is the new Web-focused version of Windows called Windows Web Server 2008. It is a special, low-priced version of Windows (only $469 retail, half the price of Standard edition and available anywhere Windows Server is sold) that is focused exclusively on Internet-based Web serving.
With Windows Web Server 2008, we have greatly expanded the capabilities of this Windows SKU based on customer feedback about Windows Server 2003 Web Edition. We have enhanced the supported hardware configurations supporting up to 4 sockets and up to 32GB of RAM on x64 installations, exactly the same as Windows standard server. In addition to the expanded hardware configurations we also support Windows SharePoint Services, Windows Media Services and SQL Server installations for use with local web applications. The new Windows Web Server 2008 also supports the server core installation option.
One of the most requested features on Windows Web Server 2008 was SQL Server support for local web applications. When SQL Server 2008 ships later this year, it will automatically install on Windows Web Server 2008. For anyone who wants to use SQL Server 2005, you can do that today but you will first need to install a patch (download details can be found here: SQL Server 2005 Installer Hotfix for Windows Web Server 2008 x86/x64) on Windows Web Server 2008.
Installing SQL Server 2005 on Windows Web Server 2008
Today, the SQL Server 2005 installer blocks on Windows Web Server 2008 but we are providing a patch that will allow you to proceed with the installation. Before attempting to install SQL Server 2005, please download and install the patch from the Download Center page found at: SQL Server 2005 Installer Hotfix for Windows Web Server 2008 x86/x64.
For more information about the hotfix, please consult the KB Article found at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/950636.