Microsoft today released its latest Windows Server offering for Educational purposes called Windows MultiPoint Server 2011.
Windows® MultiPoint Server 2011 is the second version of a Windows product primarily designed for educational institutions for use in classrooms, labs, and libraries, that allows multiple users to simultaneously share one computer. Users have their own independent and familiar Windows computing experience, using their own monitor, keyboard and mouse directly connected to the host computer. Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 enables more users to access technology at a lower total cost of ownership. Designed for non-technical users, it is simple to manage and use. Unlike other similar solutions on the market, Windows MultiPoint Server 2011 is based on the latest Windows technology and thus can run Windows applications. Support can be obtained through Microsoft or an authorized partner, and schools have access to its full capabilities, the latest updates, and the confidence that they are getting the experience they expect.
The new release contains features such as,
- Desktop Thumbnails –Through the Management Console, teachers can orchestrate activities across the classroom including sharing any specific desktop across all stations.
- Split Screen Capabilities – A single monitor can actually serve as 2 stations by splitting the screen. That means 2 students can share a single monitor. This can encourage collaboration between students. It also can be extremely helpful in places where budgets are tight and monitors aren’t easy to come by.
- Station Control –Teachers can lock any one or all stations if needed and can also open and close applications too. Teachers also have the ability to allow only certain websites in a “allowed list” through the Management Console.
- Network-connected Stations – Stations can be directly connected to host PC (directly or via USB with devices from partners such as HP) or through the network (wired or wireless!). This enables stations to be set up in a variety of configurations versus having to be clustered close to a host PC.
- Multiple Windows MultiPoint Servers – Administrators can connect multiple Windows MultiPoint Servers together into “pods” which can then be managed all together through the Management Console. They can make it super easy to manage Windows MultiPoint Servers in a single room or across a building.
- Domain-join – For places with an existing Windows Server infrastructure with Active Directory in place, Windows MultiPoint Server can be joined to a domain and managed through the same tools that are used to manage all the rest of the PCs on the network (and users)