Over on the Windows Server Division WebLog, there's an article entitled Windows Server 2008 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Update. Despite the innocuous headline, the contents reveals that Windows SharePoint is being dropped as an 'in the box' component. I find this very disappointing. But to quote Jeffrey Snover, "to ship is to choose" and I guess WSS is not ready for release yet and so has been dropped.
The claim that MS dropped this feature "to allow customers to most conveniently obtain the technology" as suggested on the blog seems somewhat wide of the mark. The most convenient way is to include the technology in the box (ala PowerShell), not make users find some web site somewhere. Presumably WSS 3.0 was just not ready.