It seems Microsoft may have a successor (or replacement) for Vista after all and it’s already been released. Windows Server 2008 isn’t easy to configure as a desktop operating system but when done correctly can be 20% faster than Vista while retaining most of the same features.
Windows Workstation 2008 has all the patches and fixes that are present in Vista SP1; runs all the same software but does it faster. InformationWeek calls Windows Workstation 2008 the “speediest and most secure version of Windows to come along in a decade.”
Windows Workstation 2008 is not a product sold by Microsoft and must be configured from a copy of Windows Server 2008. It seems this version of Windows lacks the “bloat” that is part of Vista. However, I am not sure what the author is referring to (but is likely talking about unnecessary services).
Of course this version of Windows was designed with developers in mind who covet speed above all else. Workstation 2008 includes IIS and Hyper-V for creating virtual machines.
A Microsoft employee and third party website have created tutorials on how to use Windows Server 2008 as a desktop operating system. This is what I’ve been referring to as Windows Workstation 2008. Keep in mind that this will have the same driver problems as Vista does, meaning, if a Vista driver doesn’t exist for a piece of hardware you still won’t be able to use it with Server or Workstation 2008.