Apparently SQL Server 2012 is just on the horizon and Microsoft has announced pricing plans for it. There will be 3 editions (Enterprise, Business Intelligence, and Standard: Ref: http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/en/us/future-editions/sql2012-editions.aspx).
The Server licensing is going to shift from counting processors to counting cores, with four cores per physical process as the minimum. And for virtual servers, they can license the virtual machines based on core licenses or server plus CALs (Client Access Licensing). Their licensing costs have stayed the same or increased, so expect to pay more than for SQL Server 2008 R2. The price per SQL Server CAL goes up 25%, going from $164 to $209 (think of this as FileMaker clients). The unlimited SQL Server 2008 Datacenter edition (similar to FileMaker's Advanced Server) is $54,990 per processor, and the SQL Server 2008 R2 unlimited virtual server cost of about $110,000. But on the more limited side of things, the Enterprise Edition is $6874 per Core, the Business Inteligence is $8592 per Server pus the cost of the CALs, and the Standard is $1793 per Core (or $898 per Server plus the cost of the CALs). Considering that most Xeon Server's (e.g., Mac Pro or Windows Server) are 8 or 12 cores now, that can add up a lot!
To be honest, the Microsoft pricing is rather confusing to me and apparently is to many users and those who need to upgrade are likely to have to re-evaluate their license in 2012 because it might not be the same license they needed for 2008.
I know that on the back end, FileMaker is no M$ SQL Server. But I just wanted people to realize that FileMaker tends to meet the needs of many medium and some large sized businesses at a significant less cost than SQL Server. And FileMaker keeps server licensing simple by licensing the Server application and not ridiculous things like server cores. So for those clients griping about FileMaker software licenses... just ask them to price out Microsoft SQL Server licensing for the same job and they'll suddenly find FileMaker is often a much better option.