I am really interested to find out your experiences with Windows Server 2003 SP1 Release Candidate. I have now installed it on several machines running under Virtual PC and Virtual Server 2005 with no problems. OK I hear you say - that is a controlled environment, well yes, but remember this is the Release Candidate.... I wouldn't necessarily recommend loading this on a production system. I have yet to take the plunge and install it on my main laptop but am tempted to do so. If you are like me (paranoid about security), I like the idea of the firewall (same as XP SP2), the Data Execution Protection (DEP) and other security updates. One of my colleagues in the UK took the plunge the other day: http://blogs.msdn.com/jhoward/archive/2004/12/08/278283.aspx
There are also a whole load of useful articles available. I am a regular reader of the Cable Guy's articles and true to form there is a really interesting piece on 2003 SP1 RC:
There is also a document I strongly suggest reading before installing 2003 SP1 RC: http://download.microsoft.com/download/b/1/1/b1148b91-a2e0-48bf-936d-93daebb20154/relnotes.doc. These are the release notes and if you are like the vast majority of people out there who don't read the manual before playing.... you might just want to read this. Please again remember this is a release candidate and should be used in a test environment. A great way to do this is by using Virtual PC (if you have a TechNet or MSDN subscription go ahead and download an eval copy today!). Otherwise I like Virtual Server (and not just because I work for MS) and you can download an eval copy from: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/virtualserver/evaluation/trial/default.mspx
Let me know how you get on and have fun! Happy New Year!