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What happened to Windows MultiPoint Server?

As of the next version of Windows Server, MultiPoint Server is now a role within Windows Server instead of a standalone product.

MultiPoint Server 2012, a product originally devised for use in educational computer labs, developed into a must-have...

option for some small-to-medium-sized businesses. Now, Microsoft is scrapping the standalone product in favor of a MultiPoint Services role within the next version of Windows Server.

MultiPoint Services allows for low-cost computer hardware to connect to a server via USB or LAN; users can have their own unique Windows workspace. This means one machine provides multiple simultaneous sessions. Any older machine would be able to connect to the server and get a Windows 10-like experience. With the 2015 version of Windows Server, the previous cap of 20 simultaneous sessions is removed.

How do you set it up? To enable the MultiPoint Services role in the technical preview, go to the Add Roles and Features Wizard in the Server Manager. Then, select role-based or feature-based installation and choose the MultiPoint Services role. The wizard automatically installs any other necessary roles, like Remote Desktop Session Host and Desktop Experience.

MultiPoint Services does not require the Remote Desktop Broker and Remote Desktop Gateway roles, and is a better option when thin clients are physically connected to the server.

The MultiPoint Dashboard, unique to the role, allows an administrator to see what each workstation sees and restrict application usage, such as opening specific programs and closing others. Admins can also use it to restrict Internet usage. To access the MultiPoint Services Manager and MultiPoint Dashboard, go to the Windows Start menu.

Licensing for MultiPoint Services is expected to be shared ahead of the launch date of Windows Server, but during the technical preview. Customers have a 180-day grace period where they don't have to enter any client access licenses, or CALs, according to Microsoft.

As of January 2015, the preview version of MultiPoint Services does not have Windows 10 features, but the company plans to add them in future previews.

This was last published in January 2015

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A better strategy may have been having MultiPoint Server as part of Windows Server and as a standalone product to cater for different computing resources.
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