What is Windows Server and how it differs from Windows?

Windows OS captures a sizeable portion of the Operating System market share. As such, it can be considered as one of the most popular Operating System. It offers OS in 2 major variants namely,

  1. Windows for Desktop
  2. Windows Server

Microsoft Windows Server 2019 is the latest server-edition of Windows 10.It is important for you to know that both serve different purposes. So, let us attempt to understand what is Windows Server and how it differs from Windows?

Difference between Windows & Windows Server

Difference between Windows & Windows Server

Microsoft Windows Server 2019 is the latest server-edition of Windows 10. It is meant for business and supports higher-end Hardware. Running the same Task View button and featuring the same Start Menu, it is hard to find what’s different between the two siblings. But a few important dissimilarities can help us define their nature.

  1. Storage, Control and Network
  2. Less Accessibility
  3. Cores Support
  4. Memory Support
  5. Network Connections
  6. Microsoft Store or Edge browser support
  7. Windows Updates
  8. Price for deployment.

1] Storage, Control and Network

While Windows for Desktop is used for computation and other daily chores at offices or schools, Windows server is mainly used to run services people use across a certain network. It can be viewed as a series of enterprise-class server OSes designed to share services with multiple users and have extensive administrative control over data storage, applications, and corporate networks.

2] Less Accessibility

If you’re on Windows Server, then you can’t sign in to Microsoft account. This greatly limits the scope of accessibility as you can’t use the account go to settings of another PC and use your Microsoft account to download important files/documents/folders via OneDrive or Office Apps. You can only sign in with a domain account.

3] Cores Support

In terms of cores, Windows 10 with 32-bit can only support 32 cores; 64-bit ones can, however, handle larger sizes (256 cores). On the other hand, Windows Server can support an infinite number of cores.

4] Memory Support

Both support different memory sizes. A Windows computer running Windows 10 Enterprise has a 4 GB memory limit on an x86 and a 2TB limit on an X64. These numbers multiply by manifolds when you switch to Windows Server version. You can view them. This Microsoft document describes the memory limits for supported Windows and Windows Server releases.

5] Network Connections

If you desire for an extensive number of network connections, then Windows for Desktop will fall short of your expectations. It only limits to 20 connections. Its counterpart, i.e., Windows Server can offer as many network connections as you want, provided it has enough hardware capacity.

6] Microsoft Store or Edge browser support

This is one area where Windows for Desktop manages to outscore Windows Server. Features including Windows Subsystem, Progressive Web Apps and Your Phone for Linux are available under Microsoft Store. Windows Server doesn’t support Microsoft Store. Similarly, if you are looking for Edge to run on Windows Server, you’ll feel disappointed. Unlike Windows 10, Windows Server uses IE (Internet Explorer), and that can’t be used for web browsing. Also, if you would like to try Google Chrome, then you need to relax exceptions for all Google URL to finish the download.

7] Windows Updates

Another domain where Windows for Desktop gets the upper hand over Windows Server. Windows Updates come faster to Windows for Desktop than Windows Server. Also, it features a Timeline, not visible on Windows Server.

8] Price for deployment

Lastly, a very important factor that requires consideration – Price! Windows Server 2016 licenses are comparatively expensive. For instance, if you have a business, then, depending on your size and needs a single license can cost between $500 and $6200. For this reason, most purchasers opt for a Volume License route instead. Windows Server is made primarily for businesses, so it is priced accordingly. It is therefore advisable to choose a system which is best for you and your needs and selected keeping in mind the need to recover, repair, or migrate.

Recent iterations of Windows Server offer more flexibility as they can be deployed either on a cloud platform like Microsoft Azure or on hardware in an organization’s data center. Besides, the addition of new capabilities like Server Manager and Active Directory makes Windows Server a good alternative. While the former is a utility to administer server roles and make configuration changes to local computers, later enables easy automation of the management of user data.

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The author Hemant Saxena is a post-graduate in bio-technology and has an immense interest in following Windows, Office and other technology developments. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player. Creating a System Restore Point first before installing a new software, and being careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware is recommended.