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I get Windows Server 2008 R2 for free through the DreamSpark program, so I thought I could save $30 and use Windows Server as my OS and not get Windows 7. I found this website, which makes it seem like this is a route many people take. What are the advantages / disadvantages of running Windows Server 2008 R2 instead of Windows 7? Are there any features that are missing from the server version that are in the consumer one? (one thing I am worried about is Windows Media Center, which I would really like)

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3 Answers 3

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Are there any features that are missing from the server version that are in the consumer one?

you won't have Superfetch and Readyboost ...

one thing I am worried about is Windows Media Center, which I would really like

and of course no Media Center.

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Actually you can turn on Superfetch. And Media Center can be hacked on I'm pretty sure, but I don't know how (another question?) –  Isaac Waller Dec 17 '09 at 1:13
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oh, i'm sure it has been tried, but so far all attempts have failed. :) –  Molly7244 Dec 17 '09 at 1:34
    
I would consider lack of SuperFetch a bonus! –  Lunatik Dec 17 '09 at 8:53

Most free AVs and a lot of software won't run on server versions of windows.Some drivers may not work, though on the whole, the windows 7 or vista drivers ought to work. On the other hand, subjectively, Server OSes feel faster.

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"On the other hand, subjectively, Server OSes feel faster." while this is certainly true for Server 2003, Server 2008 is not as snappy as a properly tweaked Windows 7 (faster than Vista, yes), so there is no real benefit. –  Molly7244 Dec 17 '09 at 1:37

I used Server 2008 (pre-R2) through the DreamSpark program for a while as well. It did pretty much everything I needed it to, and was a lot cheaper than buying Vista would have been. The only problems I had were, as mentioned above, AV (Avast! Home won't install on a server OS). It took a little tweaking, but once set up, everything worked fine. I haven't checked out R2 yet, since I have no x64-capable computer, but if my experience with 2008 was any indication, you'll be fine. If anything, it seemed speedier than Vista, although I don't know if the same will apply with Win7 vs 2008 R2.

You might also want to check and see if your school has an MSDNAA subscription. Mine doesn't, but some do, so you might be able to get Windows 7 for free anyhow.

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WIndows 7, and almost all the software you'll need (or don't). My university has a MSDNAA Subscription, and Is way too complete –  josecortesp May 17 '10 at 19:47

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