Hi- this is James, Group Program Manager for Windows MultiPoint Server. On behalf of the WMS team I am very excited to announce that Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 is available on the Download Center today, and to MSDN and TechNet Subscribers a bit later this week. This availability follows the official signoff of Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 and hand off to our OEM partners on February 11, 2011.
Volume License(VL) customers will be able to download and purchase Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 on March 1, 2011. Broader, public availability through partners will start mid-April 2011. The evaluation version available on the Download Center today can be turned into a full production version when you purchase your VL license of Windows MultiPoint Server 2011- so there is no need for re-installation.
Thank you to all our beta testers for providing feedback and helping us refine and enhance the experience for this new product release. We have added a lot of new features over the last year and it has been great to have the chance to respond to the feedback from real world usage. Our Beta and TAP partners from Seattle to Rwanda have been invaluable!
In our previous blogs around the Beta and around RC, we mentioned what’s new in Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 versus the previous release of Windows MultiPoint Server (WMS 2010) in terms of features and functionality so I won’t repeat all that here. I did, however, have the good fortune to spend the last week with customers and partners in Latin America, so I thought I would share what they found most exciting about the product:
Visibility, control and collaboration tools for teachers:
Teachers’ hands-down favorite feature was Block All Stations; the ability to get the attention of the entire class with a customizable message by suspending all screens, keyboards and mice. The team got a lot of big “Thank You”s for this simple functionality.
Teachers also loved the ability to monitor thumbnail views of all the desktops to be able to see if students are off task or having difficulties. All without having to wander around and periodically look over everyone’s shoulder.
In third place came the ability to broadcast teacher or student desktops to one or all of the student desktops, allowing teachers or students to walk the class through an exercise.
Simple deployment and management tools for teachers, administrators and the partners who support them:
Our multi-machine management approach is a welcome addition, with teachers being able to monitor and manage all the WMS computers in their environment, either from any WMS workstation or even from a teacher laptop.
Support for LAN-connected clients generated a lot of creative ideas from new locations in the school that could be served, so delivering modern, managed desktop experiences to old PCs or netbooks.
Everyone was intrigued by our new Split Screen feature, where we take a wide aspect ratio monitor and split the display are in two to create two student workstations. Two (probably small) students can then work side by side. I’ve been a little surprised to see how well this has been received by students who want to work collaboratively with their friend. Our partners quickly saw how this can add even more the the cost advantages of WMS.
Of course there are many other new features, so I encourage you to download the product to check it out. To help you we have been updating the Planning and Deployment Guides I mention in my “Getting Started with MultiPoint Server” post on this blog. You can also learn more through a short demo video here.
My friends Dean and Sandrine mention what’s new in terms of channel availability and SKU availability for Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 over on the Small Business Server blog. We have done a lot to give people more and easier options to get Windows MultiPoint Server, such as adding an OEM pre-installed, domain-joinable option that will work straight out of the box – no assembly required. You can check it out here.
One of the most active and popular internal Windows 7 bloggers, Brandon LeBlanc, has been blogging about his experience with Windows MultiPoint Server 2011: check it out here: http://windowsteamblog.com
We’re so excited about this release because to us it is a simple solution to provide more studants around the world access to information and 21st Century computer skills via a great Windows 7 desktop experience, even as their school’s or campus’ IT budgets are under pressure.
Here’s the link to the Download Center again for your convenience- enjoy experiencing Windows MultiPoint Server 2011!!!!