SharePoint Foundation (previously known as Windows SharePoint Services) provides the underlying technology for SharePoint sites, and organizations can choose to deploy it on-premises for free to create various kinds of sites. With the content management functionality of enterprise-level SharePoint, it could be easy to ignore Foundation as a content management system (CMS) option, but some organizations may be able to get away with just using Foundation's CMS features for their content management requirements. Others still need more robust features.
All of the standard functionality -- lists and libraries, content management workflow, content views, versioning and so forth -- is available in Foundation. If your content management needs aren't very exotic, Foundation could very well meet them all.
What's missing from SharePoint 2013 Foundation features is the more complex functionality. Managed navigation driven by content metadata, Web content management features, and the really racy stuff like eDiscovery aren't available. And cross-site publishing, probably the most useful suite of features in SharePoint CMS, is not available, either. The Catalog template and the authoring site collection are absent in Foundation (and, it should be noted, in SharePoint Online), as well.
How to configure SharePoint 2013 co-authoring
Can WCM systems do it all?
Avoiding SharePoint Online blunders
Dig Deeper on Enterprise SharePoint strategy
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