I just got this tidbit of information from a friend who talked to Ed Katibah (lead Program Manager for SQL Spatial).

Spatial datatype, methods and indexes will be supported equally on all SQL Server editions (Express, Workgroup, Standard and Enterprise) at no extra charge. That means anyone who wants to use the SQL Server 2008 Spatial can download the free Express version and start working with spatial databases. Express will still have its limitations as it does now but you have to believe that this puts a huge damper on middleware producers that are targeting .NET developers (ArcSDE cough).

Just think, download SQL Server 2008 Express and perform geospatial operations in Virtual Earth or OpenLayers.

MechaGodzilla

SQL Server Mechagodzilla pushes other Spatial Databases aside with ease