Hi everyone, James Duffus here with some more big news from the MultiPoint Server team. Today, we’re excited to announce that Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 is released and an Evaluation version is available for download here. Note that you can start your deployment with the Evaluation version and then convert it to perpetual product with a product key later, so feel free to get started today.
Here is a recap of the enhancements we’ve completed for 2012 for those who didn’t get to experience the Beta.
- The Windows 8 desktop experience: MultiPoint station users get the latest look, feel and touch of Windows 8, including the new start page, great per-station USB device support and multi-touch input on direct video connect stations.
- A new MultiPoint Dashboard: One of the largest changes from 2011 to 2012 is the addition of the MultiPoint Dashboard, effectively separating the system administration tasks from the real-time classroom tasks. With the Dashboard come a new, WMS-specific user group – The Dashboard User group. Standard user accounts added to this group gain specific privileges which allows access to the MultiPoint Dashboard without having administrator privileges of the computer. A Dashboard User will be able to monitor stations, block users, limit web access and project to all users. New for 2012 they will also be able to open local chat sessions with users and take control of a user’s keyboard and mouse to provide hands on demonstration of tasks. The MultiPoint Manager will continue to be used for setup and management of servers and users.
- Hands-off recovery with Disk Protection: WMS 2012 provides a disk protection feature that, when enabled, discards all changes and returns the system volume to a known good state on every boot. This feature is ideal for administrators who do not want to allow their users to modify the system volume or user profiles in any way, such as in a public library or a kiosk.
- Monitoring Windows 8 (and 7) clients: MultiPoint Server 2012 includes the ability to monitor computers that are already running Windows 7 or 8. This allows for orchestrating a mixed environment of MultiPoint stations and PC clients. A system administrator is able to install the new MultiPoint Connector on the PCs and then add the PCs to the MultiPoint Dashboard. Once a PC is added, features such as block station, enlarge thumbnail and launch / close application can be performed across all the PCs and MultiPoint Stations in the lab.
- Virtualized Windows 8 or 7 Desktops: The Premium version of Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 allows you to enable the Hyper-V role and create Windows 7 or 8 client virtual machines to map to MultiPoint stations. Because the VMs and the MultiPoint stations are all running on the same computer, we are able to significantly simplify deployment of the virtual machine-based desktops. MultiPoint Manager will walk you step by step through creating, customizing and deploying Windows 8 or 7 virtual desktop stations.. Many customers will be excited to have this option to address application and device compatibility issues.
We’ve had tremendous feedback from our Beta customers. If you have been watching this space and are looking for a low cost, low power way to increase access to the latest technology, I encourage you to take the plunge now. Millions of students are already getting access to technology and information using WMS 2010 and 2011. WMS 2012 takes that experience to a new level. We are confident you will love this product!
Watch this blog for additional feature drilldowns and information on WMS 2012 driver updates from our hardware partners.
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