Microsoft Windows Server Desktop Experience is a feature that allows admins to install various Windows 7 features on servers running Windows Server 2008, Windows 8 features on servers running Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8.1 features on servers running Windows Server 2012 R2.
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Desktop Experience can be installed using the Initial Configuration Tasks Wizard or Server Manager. Installing Desktop Experience does not automatically turn on any of the features it installs, and any features that require configuration changes must be manually enabled.
Desktop Experience includes:
- Windows Media Player
- Windows Defender
- Desktop themes (Windows 2008 only)
- Snipping Tool
- Windows SideShow
- Sync Center
- Character Map
- Sound Recorder
- Disk Cleanup
- Video for Windows (AVI support)
- Support for desktop apps (Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 only)
- Windows Store (Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 only)
- PC settings (Windows Server 2012 R2 only)
- Integrated search (Windows Server 2012 R2 only)
- The ability to play a slide show on the lock screen (Windows Server 2012 R2 only)
Windows MultiPoint Server and the upcoming MultiPoint Services Role in Windows Server 2016 automatically install Desktop Experience and other necessary roles such as Remote Desktop Session Host (RD Session Host).