We have an Active Directory network with < 20 XP clients and one 2k3 server running in 2000 forest mode. On a zero budget, I'm trying to avoid more MS license dollars going out the door than I need to when we upgrade the server to something with > 4GB RAM (which 2k3 won't support.) We don't seem to use any of the features that make AD an advantage over, well, nothing, like Group Policies or anything like that. Is there a downside to just having local accounts that map the same network drives?
Reasoning: Someone on slashdot said that's how their network was configured, I think without even a domain controller, and it never occurred to me to try it this way, since the desktops and server were purchased many years ago as a package and installed and set up without much participation (hence not really making use of advanced AD features.)