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Windows Server 2003 (SP1 or R2) instead of Windows XP

I've got a new AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ (Dual Core) based workstation with 4GB of ram, etc, etc sitting beside me waiting to be configured to eventually replace my 4+ year old dev box. (migrating Dev boxes is such a pain)

Been using Windows XP Pro (SP2) for the past 4 years.

I read/heard that Windows Server 2003 (SP1 or R2) makes for even a better Dev Box OS then XP.

My only concern is that I need to plug in Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) Firewire and USB video camera devices (web-cam), etc and some times some custom software virutal serial port drivers for our software.

Will these COTS devices install and/or work correctly under Server 2003 out of the box..

Anyone got any experience with this scenario...

I know that sometimes the OEM setup disks installer checks for the windows OS and will not run on the Server OS's but, it is still always possible to install the drivers directly  by using the *.INF files..  or by using the Windows Backward Compatibilyt options before running setup.exe

Any advice?
Heston Holtmann Send private email
Monday, April 24, 2006
I'm also curious about this.  I have to run Windows Server 2003 on a box that will run sharepoint but will also be a multimedia server connected to a TV and have a tuner.  I hoping the differences between XP and 2003 are minimal.
Almost H. Anonymous Send private email
Monday, April 24, 2006
I did find this for more info:

and this

Kinda helped me.. but not completely
Heston Holtmann Send private email
Monday, April 24, 2006
You can download an eval copy of Server 2003 SP1 or R2, and it takes @ 45 minutes to install.
Kevin Wood Send private email
Monday, April 24, 2006
I ran Win2K3S as my dev desktop for a while, but on the last reinstall I went back to WinXP. The machine definitely didn't feel as snappy running Win2K3S as it does with WinXP, but with your behemoth you're unlikely to notice. :-)

One thing I really missed was the ability to run Microsoft Movie Maker; it won't install under Win2K3 Server, so I couldn't edit any of the home videos we take of my 3 year old daughter. There is a workaround for this by copying it from a WinXP installation, but the codecs never quite worked right for me.
Andrew Lighten Send private email
Monday, April 24, 2006
You will also be hosed on the prices for things like virus scanner, printer enhancement, partitioning software, etc. Manufacturers see "server" and assume "IT Department" not developer. Which forces you to buy the "enterprise edition" of these packages to get them to install.
Chris Tavares Send private email
Monday, April 24, 2006
I considered that for my Acer 8204 Intel core duo/ 2 GB RAM/12o GB HDD machine. But after some advice, research - I figured it was more convenient to load Win XP SP2 as my primary dev platform, and load Win 2003 within a virtual machine.

VMWare, Virtual PC server 2005 are free and Parallels - from is supposed to be pretty good and quite inexpensive too.

So why not use Win 2003 within a virtual server, if you need it to test deployment?

Monday, April 24, 2006
+1 for Windows XP and Server2003 in a Virtual Machine.

In my experience, there's only two things that make Server a better dev OS: IIS 6.0, and better command-line tools.
Raj Chaudhuri Send private email
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
If you do use 2003, make sure you adjust the performance settings to optimise for programs instead of background-tasks. As default, 2003 has a sluggish interface because of this.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
It says 'server' in its name.  Why, in the name of all that's pink and fluffy, would you want to use it as a desktop?
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
'Leet feeling?
Cur Mudgeon
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
If your dev box is only a dev box and you are developing primarly server software (IIS apps, ASP, etc) and need things like IIS then yes it makes sense.  I ran NT 4.0 Server way back when and it was great compared to the workstation because all we developed was web apps.

But if you primarly do desktop stuff, then it would make more send to stay with XP.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
I switched to 2003 some three months ago from Win2k and my main complaint is that there are no drivers for the mouse and keyboard (Logitech wireless). It is also noticeably slower redrawing the screen (dual proc, lots of ram, etc). Finally, most of my users have XP and I have to flick back to XP to test the app (VPC and other machine) specially for the subtler bugs. It is a desktop app, I guess that for web development this might not apply.

I am planning to move to XP after my next release.
JSD Send private email
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
I stayed with WinXP Pro SP2.. WS2003 had too many time-wasting issues like trying to trick the installers for (non WHQL) drivers, like cheap PCI serial port cards, etc, etc.

Gonna upgrade to Vista in less then 12 months anyways; assuming it ever gets shipped.

Thanks for replies..
Heston T. Holtmann Send private email
Wednesday, May 10, 2006

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