Now that I have a 64 bit notebook, I get to do fun stuff like install the 64 bit version of Windows Server 2008 (beta 3). I wasn’t too sure how well the experiment would go, but so far it’s been pretty successful.
Drivers weren’t such an issue as most of the Vista x64 drivers worked flawlessly. I still have 3 unknown devices in the device manager and I haven’t yet tried to configure the finger print scanner, but everything else is good.
Obviously the first thing I did once the graphics drivers were installed, was to make it look like Vista with all the eye-candy. You need to install the “Desktop Experience” option from the “Add Features” section of “Server Manager”. Once that’s installed and you’ve rebooted, you need to enable the “Themes” service and enable all the performance options by going in to the “Advanced System Settings” and turning on all the visual stuff. Then reboot again and you can select the “Windows Vista” theme and the “Windows Aero” appearance settings. As you can see from the screenshot below, it’s all working well.
I also needed to configure wireless networking which isn’t installed by default (this is a good thing!) Just get back to the “Add Features” section and you can install the wireless networking option from there.
I have my key apps installed (Firefox, Live Messenger, Live Writer) and it all feels quite solid so far. Now to get some real server stuff running…