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I have an old Laptop that requires a Windows OS licence. It appears that Windows Home Server 2011 is about half the price of a Windows 7 licence, so my question is if it is suitable to be used in place of Windows 7?

My hardware specs are reasonable, Core 2 Duo 1.8Ghz, 4Gb ram. I know a lot of people use Windows Server 2008 as a desktop OS, so are there any restrictions in Home server that would prevent this kind of use?

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WHS 2011 is not designed to run software on it. Windows Server in general is not designed to run software on it. – Ramhound Dec 16 '11 at 17:19

My gut wants to say "No, this is a bad idea -- there's probably too many things that are missing or won't work, software that will fail to install on a 'Server' OS, and features and design that are different enough to be a constant headache for your users." However, I don't have any real proof of it, but at the same time I can't find any references to anyone running WHS 2011 as a desktop OS either. This is as opposed to running Server 2008 R2 as a desktop OS, which plenty of people do for various reasons (some good, some... not so good).

While it may or may not work for personal use I'm not sure I'd want to deploy something like that to other users, particularly if they're not tech-savvy.

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Not sure about WHS 2011, but I installed Office 2010, Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate, Notepad++, PSPad, SQL 2005 express, SQL Manager Express, MYSQL, and Windows SharePoint on my Acer H340 WHS 2003 without any issues! I used it when I'm outside my home via logmein.

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As with any windows os there is the one and only problem is driver support. If you manage to find the right "Windows Home Server" drivers for your laptop you can try to install. If that fails I suggest you give Ubuntu a try.

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