The idea of using a single machine with multiple simultaneous users is not a new concept. After all, that is exactly what server admins do all the time with remote desktop and terminal services. But what hasn’t been as easy to do is give users access to their own desktop environment with they own keyboard and mouse while connected to a single machine. Partners like NComputing have made this scenario possible and Microsoft has recognized these values especially in the education sector and developing world. With quad-core and eight-core machines about to be released in the mainstream, does it continue to make sense having one computer per user?
Those of you old enough to work in the mainframe days know that the IT industry is a pendulum that constantly swings between the client-server model and the mainframe model. Microsoft Multipoint Server 2010 makes that Dell desktop sitting in the back of the classroom a mini mainframe! Imagine the following scenarios:
With Windows MultiPoint Server 2010, students feel like they have their own computer instead of sharing one with other students. This is possible because each user station has access to the host computer’s processing capabilities.
You can easily create an account for each student. With individual accounts, students can set their own favorites in Windows Internet Explorer, customize desktop backgrounds, set up their own desktop icons, customize the Start menu, and more. Plus, it doesn’t matter which user station students log in to — they can always save and access their individual settings and work.
MultiPoint Manager, an intuitive user interface, makes it simple to manage student accounts. You can easily delete an account, create a new one, or change a password from one convenient location. You can even set up generic or class specific accounts that anyone can use when you don’t want to manage many different individual student accounts.
Want to share a file or video with students so they can collaborate on a project? Simply drag and drop content from your Documents Library to Public Documents and the content will automatically appear in all other users’ Document Library. Now everyone can access the information you want to share. You can even create entire folders to be shared.
Some folders should be public so everyone can access them — and some folders should be private so only certain people can view their contents. With Windows MultiPoint Server 2010, students can save files in their own private folders, accessible only to them and the teacher.
With Windows MultiPoint Server, you can plug in a headset or microphone at each station. Then students can enjoy a multimedia experience without worrying about disrupting other peoples’ work.
Whether you want to use Microsoft Office programs or compatible educational applications, Windows MultiPoint Server makes it simple to install software. Just install your program a single time on the host computer and it will be ready to use on each user station.*
* Applications do not come preinstalled with Windows MultiPoint Server 2010. You will need to check with individual software manufacturers to ensure proper licensing in a shared computing environment.
With the Disconnect feature, students can save their working sessions without logging off, yet still free up the user station for someone else. Let’s say a student has multiple Internet Explorer tabs open for research along with Microsoft Office Word. If she doesn’t want to lose her working session just because she’s going to lunch, she can use the Disconnect feature instead of logging off. When she reconnects later — at any connected user station, everything appears on her desktop just the way she left it. If your students forget to disconnect, you can do it for them from the host computer or any user station.
The MultiPoint Manager user interface makes it simple to monitor and manage user stations. You can see how many stations are being used, which student is using which system, and check to see whether hardware is connected properly.
Of course it goes without saying that running a single computer is ten times greener than running ten separate computers. Schools can literally cut their power consumption to a fraction of what they spend today as a result!
To learn more about Microsoft Multipoint Server 2010, visit the website!