Microsoft has posted the licensing for SQL Server 2012. It has simplified licensing: SQL Server 2012 will offer two licensing options – one that is based on computing power (“core based”), and one that is based on users or devices (“Server + Client Access License (CAL)”). Note that the licensing previously was per socket. The explosion of multi-core processors is behind that change. Per-core licensing also simplifies virtualization licensing, since a physical core equals a virtual core.
It also has a new edition called Business Intelligence, and no longer has the Datacenter edition or Workgroup Edition. So the three editions are: Standard, Business Intelligence, and Enterprise (actually four editions if you count the free Express edition). Here are the differences:
And here is the retail pricing for new purchases: