Imagine my surprise when I installed Windows 2008 for the first time and was faced with a decision of installing the Full version or the Server Core version. My initial question was "What precisely is a Server Core version?" Microsoft had kept this product quiet and, as a beta tester, I was taken completely off guard. So I installed Server Core and found myself faced with a command prompt and nothing else. Server Core doesn't include a Taskbar, desktop (as we know it), or a Start menu. You won't find a plethora of GUI gizmos that can make life easier, but can also to slow your work down to a crawl. Here was an interface that reminded me of a supercharged-DOS or NetWare of days past. I just had to try it out.

Many months later, I'm ...

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