updated 03:35 pm EDT, Fri June 3, 2011
Download would likely cost extra
The Server version of Mac OS X Lion may be a paid add-on for the core OS, a tip to French site HardMac suggests. The person claims to have discovered a Help note in the Lion preview, "Make this Mac a server," which asks Lion owners to "buy the server app from the Mac App Store;" the code is installed to the Applications folder. "The Server app downloads the Server Essentials software package, installs it, and configures this Mac as a server," the note concludes.
The scheme would differ from Apple's traditional approach to Server, which is to offer it as a complete package separate from the regular OS. Apple has been shifting more of its software to the Mac App Store however, for instance offering Aperture 3 at a sharp discount over retail. Even the Lion upgrade itself is expected to be made available through the App Store.
How much the Server add-on might cost hasn't been mentioned. Apple currently charges $499 for an unlimited Snow Leopard Server license though, and may want to use digital distribution to bring Server's price down. The client version of Lion may cost as little as $29.