Note: Microsoft no longer offers Windows MultiPoint Server. However, Windows Server now has a MultiPoint Services role that has no limit on the number of users.
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. The Premium Edition available through TechSoup hosts up to 20 stations. Microsoft has a very clear language description of how a Window MultiPoint Server environment works.
A 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 limited budgets.
Windows 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 space.
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.
Windows MultiPoint Server software is ordinarily available through academic or commercial volume licensing. It is also available as a donation product on TechSoup for eligible nonprofits and libraries.
Windows MultiPoint requires a server license for the host computer.
Each user station that connects to MultiPoint Server must have two types of client access licenses (CALs): a Windows Server CAL and a Windows Remote Desktop Services CAL. If the host computer is used as a user station and not just for administration, organizations need both types of CALs for it as well.
Windows 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 drive.
MultiPoint 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 up.
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?
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