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Sometimes I find that it helps to have some plain language questions and answers on a technology that is new to me, so here are some basics on what Microsoft's Windows MultiPoint Server is and how it works. I’d like to
thank my colleague Charles Brennick from InterConnection in Seattle for
helping me with these FAQs.
Windows MultiPoint Server (WMS) virtualizes Windows on each
connected monitor and supports multiple users at the same time, each working
independently using their own monitor, keyboard and mouse. There are currently
two versions of Windows MultiPoint Server – a Standard
Edition that hosts up to 10 stations, and a Premium Edition
that hosts up to 20 stations. Microsoft has a very clear language description
of how a
Window MultiPoint Server environment works.
computer lab or office system using Windows MultiPoint Server is more energy
efficient and usually lower cost than using individual computers. A MultiPoint lab has fewer initial hardware
costs, less ongoing maintenance, and lower software costs. It is an ideal solution
for schools, libraries, small nonprofit offices, and computer labs that are on
MultiPoint Server requires a host computer with 64-bit processor, with
sufficient processing power (CPU) and memory capacity to meet the performance
demands of the number of simultaneous users and applications used. The minimum computer specifications are a 2
GHz (or higher) dual-core x64 processor, 2 GB RAM and 32 GB available hard-disk
The more stations the MultiPoint Server system has to serve, the more RAM it needs, and we also advise
using a more powerful host computer if possible like a Core 2 Quad, or Core i3, or Core i5, or Core i7 processor. Refurbished
host computers run a Windows MultiPoint Server environment very well.
MultiPoint Server software is ordinarily available through academic or
commercial volume licensing. Cost
depends on the version purchased, either Standard
and on the license type, either Academic or Commercial. It is also available as a donation product on TechSoup for eligible nonprofits and libraries.
licensing for Windows MultiPoint Server is a bit complicated. Both MultiPoint
Edition requires a server license for the host
Each user station that connects to MultiPoint Server must have two
types of client access licenses (CALs): a MultiPoint Server CAL and a Windows
Server CAL. These two CALs, licensed per user station, are available as a single
donation through TechSoup. If the host computer is used as a user station
and not just for administration, organizations need both a MultiPoint
Server CAL and a Windows Server CAL for it as well.
MultiPoint Server is a Windows Operating System and is much like installing
Windows 7 on a computer. The software is
ordinarily downloaded from the Internet and burned to a CD or loaded on a flash
Server will run 32-bit software applications. If multiple users will access the
software it will require a volume license or open license. If the software is
assigned to the computer, such as antivirus software, it does not require a
volume license. One must read the licensing agreement to
determine its licensing type.
In the case of Microsoft Office, only specific
versions of Office will run on a Windows MultiPoint Server
system. The are:
All of them are available
as donations on TechSoup for eligible nonprofits and libraries. A separate
license is needed for each station.
Each client station uses an "access device" that connects to the
host computer. Each access device allows to have their own monitor, keyboard,
mouse, and often headphones. Access devices are essentially small boxes that
house all the connectors.
They often connect via USB cables, but some of them
can connect using Ethernet cable. It is also possible to connect them to the
host computer using video cables that plug in to a special video card on the
host computer that has multiple plug-ins. Older computers (laptops or desktops)
can also be used as thin client type access devices in a Windows
MultiPoint Server environment. There are many
manufacturers of access devices and they range in cost from around $50 on
If any individual wants to get connected with this Multipoint server, What he will has to do? Is it possible for him to get connected? Will he be connect with a licensed windows software?
I'm wondering if you mean connecting a MultiPoint system to the internet? If so, the host computer basically plugs in to an internet router via ethernet cable or wirelessly if the host computer has that capability.
The client stations then get their internet from the host computer. It can be done simply or in more complicated ways if you want to set it up with user accounts. Find more on that at:
If we had a bunch of old desktops &/or laptops to use as clients, what would be the difference between using Windows Multipoint Server vs just connecting everything as a Peer-to-peer network (through the router?) and using the server's resources that way?