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While talking about Windows Server 2012 at the Disti Summits last week in Las Vegas and Miami, a question came up that I wanted to double check our status at Corporate. “What about Multi Point Server ???” Currently Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 Beta is live and available for download at our Connect site.
So, what exactly is new ? Below is a general overview of the enhancements we’ve made for Windows MultiPoint Server 2012:
- New MultiPoint Dashboard: One of the largest changes from 2011 to 2012 is the addition of the MultiPoint Dashboard, which is based off of the old ‘Desktops’ tab from the MultiPoint Manager – effectively separating the system administration tasks from the real-time classroom tasks. With the Dashboard comes a new, WMS-specific user group - The Dashboard Operator group - which is a standard user account with specific privileges to allow access to the MultiPoint Dashboard. A Dashboard Operator will use the new Dashboard for tasks such as monitoring stations, blocking users, limiting web access, and projection. 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 to the hard drive 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.
- A Windows 8 desktop experience: MultiPoint station users get the latest look, feel and touch of Windows 8, including the new Metro-style start page, great per-station USB device support, and multi-touch input.
- 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 computer is added in the Manager, 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 7 or 8 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. While not quite the same as the classic WMS session-based desktops, we know that many customers will be happy to have this option to address application and device compatibility issues.
Download the Beta now at: https://connect.microsoft.com/wms/SelfNomination.aspx?ProgramID=7763&pageType=1
For more information check out the Windows MultiPoint Server Team Blog