Due to a new (*) IT security policy of my company, this weekend I had to wipe out my XP installation and install a BitLocker capable operating system and I had to decide whether to install Vista or jump to Windows 2008 Server turned workstation. 

I already installed Windows 2008 server on a VM inside running on my Mac and I really liked the experience of running it as workstation, so I replicated the same environment on my laptop.

This time, instead of manually applying all the changes required to turn Win2008 Server it into a workstation, I used the Windows Server 2008 Workstation Converter, which does all the changes automatically, and also installs the Sidebar and the the Aero cursors.

I’ll do most of my work inside VMs since every project is a bit different, and has different requirements (and I don’t want to install VS2005 or even VS2003 on my machine) but I decided to install on my machine the tools for the current state of the art development (ASP.NET 3.5 with VS2008 SP1).

Here is my list of tools that lives on my dev machine:

As last note, MSN Messenger and Windows Live Writer will not install on Windows Server 2008: that’s not because of a problem with the OS, but because the Live installer checks for the OS, and will work only on XP or Vista. After struggling a bit I found the stand-alone installers for both, and now I’m blogging with WLW 14 (the latest beta) on my new Windows Server 2008 turned Workstation.

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(*) New as in released one year ago, and mandatory since yesterday.