Summary: Inferior in just about every way to Linux. Free yourself. Save yourself $699. If you are in a situation where you are forced to use windows, get 2012. Even though the interface is even lamer, it will remain supported longer.
Excerpt: Definitely a major improvement over 2003, and even the R1 version of Windows Server 2008. It may take a while getting used to, but every server administrator should think about switching to this edition, especially if they are using the older 2003 version.
Pros: Several improvements over the 2003 edition, starting with the server management console. The system installation has been improved significantly, scrapping certain previously installed services that can still be installed later. It also works in full 32-bit as opposed to 16/32 for 2003, making the whole process a lot faster on modern CPUs. The boot sequence is also different than the one found in the 2003 edition, but the change is certainly for the better as well. Th...
Cons: New configuration and services may cause some initial problems for those used to the previous version of Windows Server. Hyper-V is only available in the 64-bit version.
Pros: Extremely stable, able to recover from power failures and hardware issues better than Linux or Unix, built in free virtualization, better virtualization for Windows than competitors, excellent security, faster and safer NAT routing than Unix or Linux, great for a small business. Great for DNS and DHCP. Best of all, wonderfully easy to work with.
Cons: Virtualization doesn't play well with Linux, and the licensing limitations on the Standard version only allow one virtual machine on the same license. (Enterprise allows 5, Datacenter has no limit)