Server 2008 is based on Vista, R2 being 7. Just beware of those very key variations. There's a converter tool for either to get client stuff going. So you're cool there.
With that in mind, yes 2008 R1 is supported 3 more years than Vista. But do not expect servers to be treated any different than their client counterparts when it comes to general software and drivers. Sometimes you'll get to stuff locking out installation on servers. Once EOL hits, the server will feel that very same raft. Luckily for us though, 7 and Vista are very much so alike. For example, I'm using an unsupported AMD video driver under Vista as we speak. So OS is fairly future proof, with certain regressions aside. Open source developers treat OS fairly well too. Also, being an ex user of 2008. I can tell you straight up it simply is Vista, just with server tools and related functions. They even share the same update model and Service Packs, maybe some small things vary. So as far as security patches go. You can be confident we have a fallback means of updates to get going on Vista for quite a long time If not... Oh well. Common Sense Internet Security 2020.
(I've noticed things sometimes break with client related features being brought over to WinServer. I'd seriously just use Vista, but feel more than free to give it a dive.)
Edited by 11ryanc, Yesterday, 07:31 PM.