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Microsoft Windows

Making the Switch To Windows "Workstation" 2008 552

Posted by kdawson
from the active-vista-avoidance-techniques dept.
snydeq writes "Disenchanted with Vista? Why not convert Windows Server 2008 into the lean, efficient, reliable 'power user' OS that Windows should be? InfoWorld's Randall Kennedy, who has been using a converted 'Workstation' 2008 as his primary OS since hitting a wall using Vista as a Visual Studio development platform four months ago, says the guerrilla OS has turned his Dell notebook into a well-oiled machine that never gets sluggish and rarely needs to reboot. Those interested in making the switch should check out win2008workstation.com, a clearinghouse for 'Workstation' 2008 tips and techniques. Kennedy also offers a link to a Windows 2008 Workstation Converter utility for those looking to quickly convert a fresh Server 2008 install without hacking the registry or manually installing/enabling lots of services and features."
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Making the Switch To Windows "Workstation" 2008

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  • by gbulmash (688770) * <semi_famousNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @12:35AM (#24208291) Homepage Journal
    A Windows install without all the needless bells and whistles runs nicely. Who'd have thunk it. Well, many consumers thunk it, but Microsoft's marketing demagogues didn't.

    IMO, Vista is Microsoft's version of New Coke or the Arch Deluxe [wikipedia.org] (if any of you are old enough to remember them). Although the same could have been said about Windows ME.

    Maybe Windows is like Star Trek movies... only every other release is good.
    • by Baricom (763970) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @12:41AM (#24208333)

      IMO, Vista is Microsoft's version of New Coke...Although the same could have been said about Windows ME.

      Perhaps Windows ME was New Coke and Vista is just Pepsi.

      Maybe Windows is like Star Trek movies... only every other release is good.

      Would it be more accurate to say, "every other release is less bad?"

      Arch Deluxe

      Now you've crossed the line. The Arch Deluxe was the best McDonald's sandwich ever. It made Big Macs look like they came out of a vending machine.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jurily (900488)

      It's nice, but why are these necessary to use it as a "workstation"?

      2. New User, Auto Logon and Strong Passwords Enforcement: How to create a new user, how to configure a user to logon automatically and how to disable enforcement of a minimum complexity for passwords.

      8. Internet Explorer Enhanced Security: Disable Enhanced Security in Internet Explorer.

      • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @01:02AM (#24208497) Homepage

        It's nice, but why are these necessary to use it as a "workstation"?

        2. New User, Auto Logon and Strong Passwords Enforcement: How to create a new user, how to configure a user to logon automatically and how to disable enforcement of a minimum complexity for passwords.

        8. Internet Explorer Enhanced Security: Disable Enhanced Security in Internet Explorer.

        2. Not sure about the auto logon. New user makes sense, right? Microsoft has gone crazy with some of the password requirements-- I'm fine with complexity, but IIRC the default domain settings on 2003 are something like, "Force users to change their password every 30 days, and don't let them re-use any of their last 14 passwords." And that's stupid.

        8. Again, some of the security enhancements on Microsoft's servers are absurd. I can't remember all the details, but recent versions of their servers won't allow you to download anything from the Internet, won't let you install plugins or ActiveX controls (it won't even ask you, it just won't allow it), and even if you manage to download something, Windows won't run it.

        Some of my details may be off, but the general idea is there. You can either jump through insane hoops to get things working, or you can disable their security.

        • by clarkn0va (807617) <apt...get@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @01:31AM (#24208665) Homepage

          1. Visit www.getfirefox.com

          2. Download FF3

          3. Install FF3

          4. Click a dozen or so security warnings in the process.

          5. Never look back.

          db

        • by Tim C (15259) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @03:11AM (#24209187)

          I can't remember all the details, but recent versions of their servers won't allow you to download anything from the Internet, won't let you install plugins or ActiveX controls (it won't even ask you, it just won't allow it), and even if you manage to download something, Windows won't run it.

          Not true. I'm currently running Windows Server 2008 on my desktop, and while by default IE makes downloading stuff a little trickier than say XP, it most certainly will let you do it. It just throws up a warning or two, forcing you to click to say that yes, you really do mean to download it (and thus no, you're not being hit by a drive-by download). It's a nuisance (but certainly not "insane"), but then so are most security measures and this is a *server* OS, in the vast majority of deployments once you've set it up and installed the app(s), you shouldn't be surfing on it at all...

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by KGIII (973947)
          Or you just don't run them on an OS that isn't designed for that. Man! I love car analogies tonight. I can take my wife's (really, she won't let me replace it) 1988 Honda Accord off the road and go into the woods of Maine with it. Or, instead, I can take my SUV out and actually enjoy myself and do so safely. (Sorry but, well, it seemed fitting.) The idea is that you don't use a server or workstation platform as a general home OS. Err, I do tend to like Microsoft products but I'm afraid your alternative is U
          • by FishWithAHammer (957772) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @03:57AM (#24209463)

            Err...Windows 2008 is entirely capable as a home OS. Just because it has "Server" in the name doesn't mean that it isn't. Windows 2000 was a "server" OS for a long time. Windows 2003 was too. (And 2003 was way nicer as a desktop than XP ever was, if not for its embarrassing failures with DirectX.)

            My other machine is running 2008 now, with a local work-copy of IIS 7 running. Occasionally I use it for playing old emulated games (because that way I don't have to mess with plugging in controllers to my main machine), and my brother uses it for surfing the web.

            Saying that your "only alternatives" to Vista are Ubuntu and XP is completely idiotic. 2008 is Vista without the suck, and it takes about half an hour to twiddle the settings for desktop use.

        • by dhavleak (912889) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @04:48AM (#24209685)

          Again, some of the security enhancements on Microsoft's servers are absurd. I can't remember all the details, but recent versions of their servers won't allow you to download anything from the Internet, won't let you install plugins or ActiveX controls (it won't even ask you, it just won't allow it), and even if you manage to download something, Windows won't run it.

          Enhanced security mode -- you can turn it off from the server manager. But then again -- this is supposed to be a server OS so it makes sense to disallow such risky behavior (by default) on a server OS.

          You can either jump through insane hoops to get things working, or you can disable their security.

          Not true, but it's possible that most people will effectively do just that. The reason it isn't true: go to Tools > Internet Options > Security > Custom Level. IE's security options are actually extremely fine-grained -- it's pretty far from an all-or-nothing approach. Even with Enhanced security mode on, you can explicitly add sites to the various zones (intranet, trusted, etc.) so you end up with a white-list approach.

    • WFW 3.11 fixed Windows 3.1.
      Windows 98 SE fixed Windows 95.
      Windows XP saved the world from Windows ME.
      Something will save us from Vista.

      If you number Windows 3.1 as the first release, Microsoft releases follow the same pattern that Star Trek movies do. The odd ones suck, and the even ones are ok.

  • Plust best of all (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nizo (81281) * on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @12:36AM (#24208297) Homepage Journal

    You can double the cost of your $700 PC.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mrbluze (1034940)

      You can double the cost of your $700 PC.

      Microsoft don't care whether you love or hate their flagship OS as long as you pay them money one way or another.

    • by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @01:19AM (#24208609) Homepage

      I got Windows Server 2008 free at the LA launch, so I figured I'd give it a go. I installed it and quickly changed everything to function as a desktop. Then I switched back. Here's why:

      • Many applications have real dumb incompatibilities. Usually it's just because they check the version, assume Server has everything that Vista has, and attempt to load some DLLs that don't exist on the Server version. This is fixable most of the time.
      • Some applications have installer issues. Their Windows Live stuff will refuse to install on a Server OS. Unreal Tournament 3 seems to be hardcoded to only install on Vista and below - it should be a laugh when Windows 7 comes out and nobody can install the game on it. The workaround is to dump the DVD to your hard drive, remove the check in the .msi, and install from there.
      • The sound system is screwy. Priorities are setup for different workloads, resulting in pops and hisses when you play music. This is fixable, but took me a while to figure out how and I still never seemed to get it perfect.
      • The bluetooth stack is absent. It's not an optional component in the installer, it's just not there. So you don't have the nice integrated solution anymore, and have to install crappy vendor-specific stacks that don't seem to work for everything.

      The experience is definitely not a simple "setup windows, modify windows, use as normal" one. Most of the random things that screw up are fixable, but just too much of a pain in the ass and ultimately a waste of time.

      Server *can* run faster than Vista, but only because various artificial limits are raised or removed. Most developers work around these limits and most are very good at it, so I doubt any non-developers would ever notice any performance difference. If you're looking to speed up Vista, find one of the various sites that list descriptions of services and which are safe to turn off. Most of the "bloat" of Vista can be turned off through that.

      • by EvanED (569694) <evaned.gmail@com> on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @02:11AM (#24208865)

        The sound system is screwy. Priorities are setup for different workloads, resulting in pops and hisses when you play music. This is fixable, but took me a while to figure out how and I still never seemed to get it perfect.

        I'm running Server 2008 as my main box, and I haven't seen this problem.

        I did see the first one though (the incompatibilities) with both AVG and Avast! anti-virus; both seem to assume that since I'm installing it on the server OS it's not being used on a home, non-commercial desktop and tell you to buy the full version.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @02:12AM (#24208871)

        So what you are saying is that the natural Windows updrade path is Vista -> Windows 2008 Server -> XP?

    • Re:Plust best of all (Score:5, Informative)

      by voltheir (1087207) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @01:45AM (#24208731)
      And this is why, as a developer or a card-carrying geek club member, you get an MSDN account. I've been running Server 08 as my core OS since its beta versions and have been nothing but thrilled with it. I still prefer the linux command line and power, but with the add-ons and virtualization at my fingertips I can get my BASH fix whenever I please (and no more).
    • by syousef (465911) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @05:15AM (#24209785) Journal

      You can double the cost of your $700 PC.

      Downloads on the pirate bay cost $700? *smirk*

  • by Zymergy (803632) * on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @12:43AM (#24208349)
    I have often wondered why we have not seen more of this.
    The stability of MS' "Server" line of OS' is proof that they have no real excuse for the Vista poor performance (other than it was deliberately done).
    If I were not such a PC gamer, I would probably still be using the Windows 2000 Advanced Server on my current 4-core CPU. (It supports up to 4 CPUs if memory serves). XP is still fine by me, but no where as stable as Win2kAS ever was.
    I assume that 2008 server is made from the same stuff.
    • by vux984 (928602) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @01:27AM (#24208645)

      I have often wondered why we have not seen more of this.

      Price? The reality that it doesn't matter? Both.

      NT Server wasn't really any more stable than NT workstation. Server 2k wasn't really any more stable than 2k Pro. Server 2003 wasn't really any more stable than XP.

      The stability of MS' "Server" line of OS' is proof that they have no real excuse for the Vista poor performance (other than it was deliberately done).

      I find Vista to be very fast, and it hasn't crashed on me yet. I use it on multiple PCs. I don't deny its been something of a fiasco in general, but at the end of the day, if you put Vista on suitable hardware with good drivers there is really almost nothing seriously wrong with it.

      A lot of the 'vista' problems were related to bad drivers, buggy bioses, and so on. Ultimately relatively few of the "Vista Issues" are related to Vista, and can be traced to some flakey 3rd party software.

      On some level blaming Vista for running legacy windows stuff poorly is like blaming Linux for running legacy windows stuff poorly. The only difference is that Vista actually runs it well enough for people to expect it to work.

      • by Tweenk (1274968) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @08:36AM (#24210831)

        if you put Vista on suitable hardware with good drivers there is really almost nothing seriously wrong with it.

        This "if" thing is what's seriously wrong with it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TheNetAvenger (624455)

        You have outlined what the author of the site and people on Slashdot don't seem to understand no matter how many times it is explained to them or written about on Wikipedia.

        Vista SP1 and Windows 2008 are identical OSes. The only differences is the features or components allowed to run and the default packages for applications installed.

        If you turn on the same applications and services on both OSes (Vista SP1/Win2008) they function 100% the same.

        They are the same code, just as NT has 'tried' to always be, wi

  • Server core... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by genican1 (1150855)
    sounds nice, but what I usually do is just regedit my shell from explorer.exe to cmd. Saves time and resources. Turn off the unecessary services, and you've got a stable little (figuratively) os.
  • by mrterrysilver (826735) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @12:47AM (#24208369) Homepage
    this is true, windows 2008 is awesome. i converted to it from vista and i never get the spinning circle anymore. its just snappier.

    one thing to note, its kind of a bitch to get drivers working. vista drivers work fine but you'll have to open those driver installers with an archive utility, pull out the .inf driver files and manually install through device manager. although if you're installing windows server you probably can do that stuff no sweat. i highly recommend windows 2008
    • i converted to it from vista and i never get the spinning circle anymore. its just snappier.

      So you spent probably more than the cost of the hardware for an average PC on an operating system to replace vista? Why do that? Linux is free and performs great on new hardware and old hardware alike. Considering modern Linux distros have UIs which are easier to use and more productive than windows (give windows users a few days adjustment, of course), the only reasons left for running Windows are legacy apps that o

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Kokuyo (549451)

        I really don't think anyone assumes that people actually pay for a windows OS with this article. It just doesn't seem plausible.

  • by atarione (601740) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @12:47AM (#24208371)

    how much more is Win2k8 than vista... I mean unless of course you are ARRRGH! pirates...for god sakes Win2k8 is going to be cost prohibitive as a desktop os for the vast majority of people.

  • Install RAM (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DigiShaman (671371)

    Just install the 64bit version of Vista with 8GB of memory and be done with it. That solution is cheaper than Server 2008.

    • Re:Install RAM (Score:5, Interesting)

      by scsirob (246572) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @03:11AM (#24209199)

      All that, just to be able to do exactly what you could do with XP on a 32-bit machine with 512MB RAM three years ago?
      Now that's absurd...

      • No (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sycraft-fu (314770)

        For that you need about 1GB. Vista roughly doubles XP's RAM requirements in my book. For XP I listed it as 256MB/512MB/1GB meaning that 256MB was the absolute minimum for a usable system. If you had less, I said stick with 2k. 512MB was the minimum for reasonable performance if you wanted to load only a couple apps and such. 1GB was the recommended amount for good performance for normal use.

        For Vista I say it's 512MB/1GB/2GB. Vista on 512MB is pretty painful. Vista on 2GB runs great.

        There's really no room t

  • by jaxtherat (1165473) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @12:47AM (#24208375) Homepage

    OEM Vista Home Basic $105
    OEM Vista Home Premium $136
    OEM Vista Business $166
    OEM Vista Ultimate $229
    OEM Vista Workstation (AKA 2008 server) $1090

    Wow, that's quite a markup for a workstation OS!

    (All prices in AU$)

    Why not run a decent 'Workstation' OS like Solaris or Linux? If you want a 'home PC', Vista is fine, but Windows is not a 'Workstation' OS, and it never was.

    Meh.

  • by snarfies (115214) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @12:51AM (#24208411) Homepage

    Back in the Windows 98 days, my friend introduced me to Windows 2000. It was a "server" OS, but was far more stable than 98, and, for the most part, did or could be made to do everything 98 did (in other words, you could easily play games on it). Sure enough, the Windows XP wound up using the same basic core as Windows 2000. Will history repeat itself with Windows 7...? If it does, they may yet convert me. Until then, I'll stick with my XP setup, thanks.

  • by PercentSevenC (981780) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @12:55AM (#24208445)
    It's a free download on Microsoft's website, good for a 60-day trial, extendable to 240 days. I'm a diehard Linux user, but I actually was pleasantly surprised when I tried it (not enough to keep it around, but it's probably my favorite Windows). Relatively snappy, PowerShell is built in, and no DRM crap. It's what should've been released as Windows Vista, IMO.
    • by the JoshMeister (742476) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @02:11AM (#24208867) Homepage Journal

      I'll provide links since you didn't. =)

      Download Windows Web Server 2008 trial [microsoft.com] (or if you prefer, you can get a trial of a different version [microsoft.com] of Windows Server)

      Buy Windows Web Server 2008 [pcrush.com] - apparently U.S. $140.91 ($157.76 after shipping according to shopzilla.com) from pcRUSH.com (I'd never heard of this company, but here's their Shopzilla customer rating [shopzilla.com] page); this is the best price I could find, but it seems rather low so I'm somewhat skeptical.

      Buy Windows Web Server 2008 [amazon.com] - U.S. $362.49 with free shipping on Amazon.com; this is the second best price I could find, and looks a bit less fishy considering the price is closer to retail and the seller (Amazon) is well-known.

      Feel free to search for better prices. I tried shopzilla.com [shopzilla.com] and pricegrabber.com [pricegrabber.com] and the prices above were the best that came up.

      In case you're wondering, the reason why I singled out Windows Web Server (as opposed to another edition of Windows Server) is that if you're not going to actually use the OS for the server features, it doesn't make sense to buy a more expensive edition. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

  • by mako1138 (837520) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @01:01AM (#24208491)

    All I ever wanted was a stable (Windows) OS, without the eyecandy crap. So I ran Windows 2000 for a long time. Then I decided to try Windows Server 2003, and ran it for a few years. All the drivers from 2000/XP worked fine, and after some tweaking, everything was great.

    So why don't I run it anymore? First, I got the software free through my school, and there was a legal agreement attached to it that I don't want to have to worry about now. Second, I'm not shelling out a kilobuck for a server OS so I can use it on a desktop. Third, there is a lack of decent firewall software for 2003, particularly free firewalls. Fourth, I don't want to deal with activation. (Also, the EULA apparently prohibits non-server use, but who cares about that.)

    2008 has some nice features, but I'm not interested in adopting a Vista platform. I'm currently on XP, but only because of applocale, really.

  • Pft (Score:5, Informative)

    by inKubus (199753) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @01:17AM (#24208587) Homepage Journal

    You can add Powershell to vista pretty easily, and strip off most of the junk. But what you really want is to move to 64 bit and Vista 64 is pretty dicey even in SP1. They tend to test the server products more completely before release. So they might have something there. But really, people should be complaining about why Vista isn't good, not moving to the next OS already..

    The bottom line is they are basically the same, with different modules. So if you configure 08 with the exact same configuration as Vista, it will run just as crappy.

    Personally, I have been forced into using Leopard (Mac OSX) at work for the past two months and I have been very pleased. UNIX is just great. Powershell is a step in the right direction but I'm not too impressed with it. You have to be very very knowledgable about all of the classes to use it effectively. For most tasks I am only needing text anyway, so why add the extra bloat of object piping? The only problem with Mac OSX is the GUI but I can run X and do most of what I want. I mean, I like the Mac GUI, but some of the stuff is frustrating to a power user. And all the addons cost money! It works pretty well for a dev box, with linux test and production servers to back it up. The best part is the huge, beautiful monitor and really really great fonts and typesetting. Nothing on windows comes close.

    I have a beta of 2008 rolling around here somewhere that I picked up at the launch event. I also have VS 2008 which I believe is the finest IDE available. Although Eclipse could trump that if they could just move faster. So maybe I'll try this. Most places want you to use windows and I'm getting rusty already.

    • Re:Pft (Score:4, Interesting)

      by oPless (63249) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @06:00AM (#24210015) Journal

      > Personally, I have been forced into using Leopard (Mac OSX) at work for the past two months
      > and I have been very pleased. UNIX is just great.

      I switched to using a mac as my main box a few years ago, back in the days of Panther (10.3) Was using it until a couple of weeks ago when the hardware on the ibook started failing badly. Now I'm on Leopard, and a shiny new Leopard-based macbook, and apart from some OpenGL glitches that prevents Unity3d using shaders I'm more than happy with it.

      > The only problem with Mac OSX is the GUI but I can run X and do most of what I want.
      > I mean, I like the Mac GUI, but some of the stuff is frustrating to a power user.

      What's wrong with the UI exactly? You have to spend at least 3 months to unlearn all your windowisms (yes that includes many linux window managers)

      I'm a serious poweruser, and there's nothing that I can't do on OSX I can't do on linux/windows (other than visual studio, which is the only reason I have a windows VM) I suppose I could make do with monodevelop, but I'd rather not.

      What can't you do?

      I've bought a couple of tools ... transmit being the most significant (still I could get around that by using fuse...) Apple apps tend to be more polished than their windows counterparts, and I don't feel any resentment from paying for the apps either.

  • Vista is the Windows Server 2003 kernel with some junk thrown in on it, and Windows Server 2008 is just the next generation of Windows Server 2003. So, right off the wheel, you are getting a better kernel in Windows Server 2008.

    The thing is, though, if you are doing client development on Windows, you are probably going to want to be developing on Vista and on XP just so you can be using an OS that is tested.

  • by Rui del-Negro (531098) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @01:18AM (#24208601) Homepage

    So Server 2008 is better than Vista. What isn't?

    The real question is what does it offer over Server 2003 x64 (or XP Pro 32) that offsets the less mature (sometimes non-existent) drivers and compatibility problems.

  • by Eil (82413) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @01:19AM (#24208607) Homepage Journal

    A few years back, the company I worked for tried pushing Windows 2003 terminal servers (using Linux as thin clients) for its clients. It actually worked rather well, but there was one major drawback: since Windows 2003 was a "server" OS, a lot of desktop applications and workstation hardware flat out refused to support it.

    Our biggest challenge was printer drivers. Practically no printer manufacturers released Win2k3 drivers, because it was the only major MS operating system at the time that didn't have some sort of workstation edition. Even though there was no technical hurdles to providing the drivers, the installation packages would refuse to run, saying that they didn't support the OS. I was usually the one stuck having to hack in the manufacturer's Windows 2000 drivers just so our customers could print their stuff. In one case, we ended up deploying a Linux CUPS server just to forward the print jobs through because the Windows drivers were so terrible.

  • by Stonent1 (594886) <stonent@stonent. ... t minus language> on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @01:22AM (#24208625) Journal
    Many off the shelf antivirus programs will not install on any of the Server series of OSes. They flat out refuse because they want you to buy their more expensive server version...
    • by DigiShaman (671371) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @01:47AM (#24208747) Homepage

      Duh! Server software is always more expensive than workstation side. They figure if you own a server, then it has a home to a company with deeper pockets than a single user.

      My latest run-in with this was Adobe. Regardless of how many Acrobat 8 licenses you own, you can *not* install it on a Windows Terminal Server without it going into "cripple ware" mode. I've contacted Adobe about this as a technical issue, and I was informed the licenese keys need to Terminal Server aware. Oh, and that will cost you $$$$ above and beyond any ol standard workstation licenese.

  • LastXP, et al. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wizzahd (995765) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @01:26AM (#24208639)
    There are a bunch of different homebrew "versions" of XP and Vista around, most notably LastXP and LastVista. AppzPoint.net (unfortunately that site is broken now) used to host a whole bunch of them including one called TinyXP that was supposed to be completely bare bones (never tried it). You can find torrents to this stuff on the 'Bay and other sites, and while they come with a pirate key, you're free to change the key to a legit one. I've used LastXP for a couple of years now and I completely love it. It's very stable and comes with drivers for every device I've had. I'm sure some other /. users can recommend some other modded versions of XP, too.
  • It's the same! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Toreo asesino (951231) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @02:17AM (#24208905) Journal

    Vista SP1 == Windows Server 2008 + Active Directory + some other extra toys (depending on version) and minus others (Media Center for instance).

    I mean really, I love how the image of one is completely tarnished but the image of the other is "not bad for a MS OS"....it's like comparing Windows 2000 Server & Pro.

    The only other difference is what's enabled by default, which in Win2008 is rather less. It only takes a few minutes to shutdown the same services in Vista.

  • by NotQuiteReal (608241) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @02:36AM (#24208999) Journal
    When you run a "Server" OS, many software vendors don't believe you are still on a "Workstation" budget.

    For example, try getting a reasonable price for something like Acronis for personal "workstation" use if you are running a flavor of Windows "Server", whatever...

    There are reasons to run a "server" OS, even if it is just for development and testing work, if not legitimate personal use.

  • Why not... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DimGeo (694000) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @03:42AM (#24209379) Homepage

    Why not convert Windows Server 2008 into the lean, efficient, reliable 'power user' OS that Windows should be?

    Because it's mostly the same stuff as Vista SP1? Just set the classic theme and you're good to go.

  • The real difference (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bertok (226922) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @05:07AM (#24209755)

    While it is true that Windows Server 2008 is almost exactly the same as Vista SP1, down to the hotfixes and drivers, the tangible difference is really a bunch of compiler macros and flags that Microsoft charges hundreds of dollars for.

    I run Server 2008 with the "Desktop Experience" pack as a substitute for Vista on my work laptop because of a bad experience I once had while doing a demo for a customer on an XP laptop - I had developed a simple ASP.NET website and was making a demonstration when one of the users had managed to produce a "HTTP/500" error. It was incredibly embarrassing to have my supposedly "highly reliable" system lock up after just a few clicks. It took me days to figure out that the "crash" was caused by a completely artificial limitation introduced by Microsoft into XP to differentiate it from their Server line - one of the TCP/IP connection limits was the culprit. I had never noticed it while developing, because loopback connections are not affected.

    So now I run an MSDN licensed Windows 2008 as a "workstation" OS so that I can avoid the Microsoft Marketing Department's deliberately introduced bugs, leaving only the plain old technical bugs, of which there are thankfully fewer than some previous MS operating system releases.

  • by poetmatt (793785) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @05:34AM (#24209877) Journal

    Is "disable internet explorer security"

    I think that speaks for itself in both irony and otherwise. I think I'll stick with ubuntu.

  • Don't go too fast (Score:3, Informative)

    by peppepz (1311345) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @06:29AM (#24210137)
    Windows Server may be nice, but still, it's missing parts of the multimedia system (BDA) so you'll have a hard time trying to use your tv tuner card with it. And some applications just won't install on Windows Server (windows live, for instance).
  • by fsmunoz (267297) <.fsmunoz. .at. .member.fsf.org.> on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @07:02AM (#24210273) Homepage
    "Lean", "mean", "power user", "guerilla OS", damn. There is something rather sad is the attempt to make Windows sound like something interesting, something "rad".

    I guess it's a form of self-justification. Some people can't take the hit of using Linux on their daily lives, and that is perfectly understandable all things considered, but trying to make it "it is just as elite!" is depressing to watch, like the guy who bought the mini-van because of the space but feels the need to justify to others that the mini-van is truly a racing vehicle.
  • by zerofoo (262795) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @09:09AM (#24211141)

    and put a rogue DHCP server on some poor bastard's network.

    -ted

  • Amusing... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JerkBoB (7130) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @09:33AM (#24211395)

    I understand why some people might stick to XP or Vista for their desktop OS (games, really) instead of something like Ubuntu. I am totally baffled by these people who are so insistent on using the Windows hammer that they'd waste time and effort on forcing a server OS to (badly) resemble a desktop OS.

    Even the title (... "workstation" ...) alludes to the fact that the end result isn't really suitable for home users. OK, so it's Windows for Power Users? What's the point? I'm really not trying to be inflammatory... I'm just perplexed. What does a windows Power User do/need that a normal user doesn't?

    I'm honestly trying to understand why anyone would go through all the time and trouble to lobotomize Windows Server just to avoid using Vista, other than refusing to learn/use Linux. If you're savvy enough to jump through all of those hoops, why not use a real Power User OS? It's not even much of a learning curve anymore.

    Meh. Get off my lawn, etc.

  • by nbucking (872813) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @10:07AM (#24211921) Homepage
    I work with Win Serv 2003 on a daily basis as well as XP on my work machine. Let me tell you Server 2003 is much better than XP. This fact has probably been true since NT was first created. Why do you think MS switched from using the DOS (win 95, win 98, and ME) to NT kernel? They figured out that what is being used for the server side is best. They probably put several times more testing time into their server software. Nothing on the server software should even remotely close to a beta version. It will be tried and true. On the other hand we have the commercial side users. They know the normal user is a good test bed for flaws in the system. They take this research and place it in the Server architecture. Also, they know normal users are attracted to shiny things and love advertisements. Some power users (linux geeks) will take the commercial software and make it a model hate Microsoft. This is alright and it is a show of how open source is different from closed source. Open source is much quicker to evolve due to the direct communication with average user. Closed source relies on limited but still effective communication. They are both the same but open is faster to change than closed. But because of the lack of active advertising and 'shiny stuff' linux may never build a large average user group. In conclusion, yes Microsoft is going to use only the best code for their Server software and perhaps the untested software is for us mice.
  • just one problem (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Deadplant (212273) on Wednesday July 16, 2008 @10:11AM (#24211987)

    The $1500 price tag for server 2008 is a bit of a hurdle...

"Just think of a computer as hardware you can program." -- Nigel de la Tierre

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