Tom Yager put an Xserve through the paces and came away very impressed. In his InfoWorld article, Apple Xserve: The final review, Yager praises just about everything he can about Xserve, including the high-quality engineering, ease of deployment, accessible standards-based components, and new lights-out management support. But he was especially impressed with Mac OS X Server Tiger 10.4.8 and its overall cost, noting appreciatively (and repeatedly) how OS X Server comes pre-loaded with full versions of most commonly needed server software.
Apple is going to sell complete server platforms that buyers purchase, operate themselves and actually own. Seriously. The customer pays the advertised price for an Xserve (starting at $2,999) and gets a server loaded and pre-configured with a server software suite that alone meets the needs of the majority of Intel x86 rack server buyers. There are no subscriptions, no priority update service fees, and no client, device, mailbox or CPU licenses. None of the services is grayed out pending your purchase of an unlock key. Xserve has no try-and-buy, no time bombs and no trip wires telling you that you need to upgrade from Express this or that to Professional this or that. Xserve never phones home to beg for Apple’s permission to use the server software already loaded on your system.