Microsoft has launched its Windows MultiPoint Server 2010, which allows users at multiple terminals to connect to a single host computer. The operating system, released Feb. 24, is being aimed at the education segment, and Microsoft said it will make the product available to academic volume licensing customers on March 1.
In theory, Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 can save schools money by reducing the number of computers needed in a typical classroom to one, the host system, which could be connected to multiple thin-client terminals through a video card or USB. Students on those terminals could have their own accounts and work independently in a Windows environment.
From the host computer, an administrator or other controller can drop content into a Public Documents folder, with that content appearing in users' Document Libraries. Although aimed at educators, MultiPoint Server 2010 could potentially be deployed in other contexts, such as small working groups.
"Shared resource computing can multiply the number of student workstations available to schools, delivering more value while staying within the same budget," Gartner analyst Bill Rust said in a statement accompanying the Microsoft announcement. "Teachers can better align computing resources with instructional strategies while deploying fewer fully configured computers and reducing workstation support liabilities."
Microsoft is preparing other server offerings for later in 2010. On Jan. 19, the company announced that SQL Server 2008 Release 2 would be ready at some point in May. Currently in its community technology preview phase, SQL Server 2008 R2 includes enhancements to help administrators centrally monitor and manage multiple database applications, servers and instances.