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Users may need Vista to make most of Server 2008

Companies installing Windows Server 2008 may have to buy extra Microsoft software, such as Windows Vista, to use more advanced features, analyst firm Gartner has said.

John Enck, research director at Gartner, said that although making additional investments would not be a barrier to using the operating system, companies should be clear that installing Windows Server 2008 could influence their future choice of software applications.

"Combining Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 in the same environment strengthens TCP/IP networking, network access protection and administering policies as well as quality of service settings. However, Windows Server also provides 'plumbing' that influences the selection of other products," he said.

Enck said companies using an existing combination of Microsoft applications may find that this drives the move to Windows Server 2008.

"An organisation that deploys Exchange could find itself managing Active Directory, which is required by Exchange, and therefore decide to further leverage Windows Server technology. We have seen the deployment of SQL Server and Sharepoint drive Windows Server adoption."

Enck said the move from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008 would not be as challenging as the move from NT4 to Windows Server 2000 as most of the improvements are "low level".

The biggest challenge those moving to Windows Server 2008 will face will be making sure that their 32-bit applications run under the operating system's 64-bit environment.

"Most but not all 32-bit applications will work in a 64-bit operating system environment. Gartner encourages organisations that are unable to sufficiently qualify or test their application environments to continue deploying a 32-bit version of Windows Server until they can verify application support for 64-bit operations," Enck said.





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