Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 Beta is live!

Hi everyone, James Duffus here with some big news from the MultiPoint Server team. Today, we’re excited to announce that the Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 Beta is live and available for download at our Connect site.

In February of 2010 and in March of 2011, we released the first two versions of MultiPoint Server with the goal of increasing technology access to educational and under-served customers. Our strategy of providing a simple, low cost solution where traditional 1:1 computing is impractical has proven successful as schools and non-profits deployed hundreds of thousands of MultiPoint Server seats around the globe. Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 builds off of the familiar MultiPoint experience, with the addition of several features that broaden the range of possibilities of shared resource computing solutions.

So, what exactly is new with Windows MultiPoint Server 2012? We’ll cover our new features in depth in their own posts in the upcoming weeks, but below is a general overview of the enhancements we’ve made for 2012:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

We hope that you’re as excited about the WMS 2012 Beta release as we are. We’ll be sharing more in-depth blog posts over the next couple of months that cover the new features in more detail. If your organization is already running MultiPoint Server, or if you’re looking for a low-cost solution to provide greater access to technology, I’d like to encourage you to check out the Windows MultiPoint Server 2012 Beta, available for download now at:

 https://connect.microsoft.com/wms/SelfNomination.aspx?ProgramID=7763&pageType=1

 

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