New evidence suggests it’ll be simple: every copy of Lion will be able to function as a server, but you’ll need to enable that functionality by purchasing it through the Mac App Store.
By searching for “install server” in the help menu of the latest developer preview of Lion, HardMac discovered a note saying that users can turn their Mac into a server by installing the Server app from the Mac App Store.
Here are the instructions:
1. Buy the Server app from the Mac App Store.
The Server app is automatically installed in your Applications folder.
2. Open the Server app and click Continue in the Welcome to Server window.
3. Enter the name and password of an administrator account on this Mac, and then click Continue to begin installing and setting up Lion Server software.
The Server app downloads the Server Essentials software package, installs it, and configures this Mac as a server.
Interesting stuff, but while this seemingly confirms that Server support will be an app purchase in OS X Lion, the question remains: how much will it cost? Snow Leopard Server costs $499 for unlimited licenses. Will Lion’s Server.app be that expensive on the Mac App Store? Will Apple lower the price dramatically? Or will Apple have both home and professional versions of Server available on the Mac App Store?