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Windows Server 2008: a great Vista killer

Use Windows 'Workstation' 2008

I also encountered a few minor compatibility issues. For example, the Windows Live Services installer refused to run on Server 2008. To get Windows Live Writer installed, I had to hunt down its separate MSI package.

Also, the current (3.6) version of Skype crashes on Server 2008. I had to downgrade to Skype 3.2 in order to get a stable VoIP solution. OldApps.com is a real lifesaver.

One component I won't miss: Windows File Backup. Server 2008 uses a much more powerful (albeit somewhat slower) image-based system similar to Vista's Complete PC Backup option. And though you can't restore from the Previous Versions tab, as in Vista, at least you can be confident that Server 2008's backup didn't skip anything. It grabs the entire disk structure and stores it as a searchable VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) file.

Overall, my move to Windows "Workstation" 2008 has been a positive experience. I'm getting better performance, I have access to a wider range of enterprise services and applications, and I've finally kicked my Solitaire addiction, which has been a monkey on my back for 20 years now.

I'd strongly recommend that power users and other hardcore IT types take a hard look at Windows Server 2008 as a possible solution to their workstation OS needs. The easiest way is through one of the el-cheapo MSDN subscription options, assuming your organisation doesn't already have a site licence to Microsoft's server offerings.

But no matter how you (legally) obtain your "Workstation" 2008 installation, once you experience the performance and versatility, you'll never go back to Vista or XP again.


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