The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Microsoft Windows 2003

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Microsoft Windows Server 2003 is a follow-up to the very successful Windows 2000 Server, a server operating system designed for businesses to better streamline their computer interactivity and databases to make day-to-day operations more efficient.

Windows Server 2003 was considered to be a marked improvement over the 2000 version, with added features and an even simpler interface. As with any program, it has its advantages and disadvantages.

Advantage: Abundance of Features

Windows Server 2003 added an abundance of features over the previous Windows 2000 version, including a Volume Shadow copy service. If an administrator activates this feature on a drive, the system will periodically take "snapshots" of all the files on that drive. This enables deleted files to be recovered easier and can enable the option of recovering an older version of a file if some data got lost. In Setup mode, it also offers a "Quick Format" option where you can format a specific partition of a drive instead of having to do the entire drive at once, which saves a significant amount of time.

Advantage: Versions Designed to Fit Needs

Windows released a variety of different versions of Windows Server 2003 in order to accommodate different types and sizes of business. The Web Edition is designed to almost solely design and manage company websites as well as provide the server for them. Standard Edition was designed for small to medium businesses with the basic package of business applications and media services included, along with the web package. Datacenter Edition was designed for larger businesses with larger amounts of computer networking requirements. The advantage is you don't have waste money on a package that you don't need and then scale it back to fit your needs. Instead you can purchase the one that best fits your business and is already custom-designed for your type of business.

Disadvantage: Cost

While Windows Server 2003 may be competitive in pricing to other programs of its kind, even the most basic edition costs around £650 and the upper-tier editions are around £2,600 with additional licenses and features available for extra cost. If you have a small business that doesn't require the type of database software and networking features that Server provides, it is probably not worth the investment.

Disadvantage: Outdated

Another disadvantage to Windows Server 2003 is that is was already made obsolete by Windows Server 2008 and then Windows Server 2008 R2. Any upgrades to the Server systems will be made off of those versions and not the 2003 option. The 2008 version features enhanced security features that make it more attractive for many businesses in the wake of ever-evolving threats such as viruses and malware infestation. There are also a number of new features and programs included.