Back in November, we officially announced a new Windows product called Windows MultiPoint Server 2010. Today we are launching Windows MultiPoint Server around the world. Windows MultiPoint Server is available for purchase through OEMs and Microsoft Academic Volume Licensing (VL) customers on March 1, for schools and educational institutions (mainly for use in classrooms, labs and libraries).
Windows MultiPoint Server, based off Windows Server 2008 R2, is designed to enable multiple people (students) to share access to a single host PC through a “station” simultaneously. A station is a device that connects to a host PC running Windows MultiPoint Server via USB and connects to a keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Windows MultiPoint Server shares out an “instance” of Windows to a specific station via Remote Desktop Services (formerly known as Terminal Services) technology built in to Windows Server 2008 R2. If you have 1 host PC with Windows MultiPoint Server, you can support up to 10 people connecting to it and using it at the same time (hardware permitting of course). Each person independently controls familiar Windows experience.
Non-technical professionals, such as teachers, will find the setup relatively easy with a “console” application designed to manage all of the stations connected to that PC, instead of relying on IT support.
As you have probably heard me mention before, our goal is to provide choice and flexibility with our products to meet the specific demands for different customer needs. In the case of Windows MultiPoint Server, we heard from around the world that teachers want to provide more students with access to computers and spend more time teaching. Also, many education institutions don’t have the funds to support offering up-to-date technology that can serve as a companion to the learning experience. We created Windows MultiPoint Server to address the needs of teachers and students in an affordable way to education institutions.
Windows MultiPoint Server is the lead product in a series of Shared Resource Computing technologies being released by Microsoft under the MultiPoint brand. We believe that specific scenarios such as school labs, classrooms and libraries can greatly benefit from Shared Resource Computing. Other MultiPoint technologies include the MultiPoint Mouse SDK and Mouse Mischief.
Now let me talk about a little more about the Windows experience for people using Windows MultiPoint Server. Windows MultiPoint Server is specifically designed to offer the features and functionality of Windows that are needed in a shared resource computing scenario. For instance, compared with Windows 7, not all of the features will be enabled through Windows MultiPoint Server. For example, users will not experience Aero (Glass), Windows Flip, Task Bar Previews, and will be unable to use Windows Media Center. Also, Windows MultiPoint Server is not designed for mobility, and it has other limitations. Again, Windows MultiPoint Server is specifically designed to bring more modern computing access to education institutions with constrained budgets.
For more information on today’s launch of Windows MultiPoint Server 2010, including what OEMs are making products available for Windows MultiPoint Server, see this press release on the Microsoft News Center.
It’s exciting to see us offering a product with familiar Windows experience that will enable schools to affordably use modern technology in education.