Last week at PASS I had a discussion with a program manager on the SQL Server team and he told me that in SQL Server 2008 R2, backup compression will be available in the Standard edition. I suspect this announcement will leave many of you very happy. It is certainly good news for my company since we have quite a few auncilary servers with large databases, but not critical enough to justify enterprise licenses.
For more details about feature breakdawn in R2, look here - http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver/2008/en/us/R2-editions.aspx.
Just as a side note, I am a little surprised to see the processor licenses going up by so much compared to SQL Server 2008. These days as more and more companies are seriously considering MySQL, I would expect to see the pricing going the other way. But then again, SQL Server is selling really well so maybe MS is not worried too much about this just yet.