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12Jul/111

Windows Thin PC (WinTPC) Features that you might not be aware of

You should know by now that Windows Thin PC (WinTPC) has been released. Here are some more details on WinTPC that you might not be aware of.

A key technology that WinTPC inherits from the Windows Embedded platform are write filters. A write filter allows IT to lock users from accessing certain parts of the device, such as the hard disk or keyboard strokes. WinTPC includes the following filters:

1) Enhanced Write Filter (EWF): The EWF helps keeps the WinTPC image pristine, by preventing all writes to the hard disk. The EWF creates a virtual hard disk layer in RAM onto which all writes are redirected. This virtual disk is then destroyed upon every reboot, returning the WinTPC to its original image. This provides an added layer of security, ensuring that the WinTPC can easily be cured of any issue with just a simple reboot.

2) File Based Write Filter (FBWF): While the EWF prevents all writes to disk, the FBWF allows writes to certain sections of the disk, such as certain files. This is useful in scenarios where you need writes to persist across multiple reboots, such as an antivirus definitions file.

3) Keyboard filter (KBF): The keyboard filter allows IT to lock certain keystroke combinations (such as (ctrl+alt+del). This is especially useful in scenarios where the WinTPC is a shared desktop, and IT wants to prevent a single user from locking other users out of the desktop Just like Windows Embedded, WinTPC supports international keyboards, allowing users to interact with virtual desktops that are localized in other languages. However, as of the writing of this whitepaper, WinTPC is available only in English.

Essentially, WinTPC inherits lot of the functionality that makes Windows Embedded one of the best platforms for thin client computing. As part of the Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 release, Microsoft introduced RemoteFX technology that provides users with an extremely rich remote desktop experience by virtualizing GPUs on the server. This enables each virtual machine to leverage graphics capability on the server, and allows for 3D graphics capability, bidirectional audio for VOIP, and support for multiple monitors. RemoteFX also provides redirection capability for USB, thereby enabling users with a local-like experience for their VDI desktops. WinTPC supports RemoteFX out of the box, integrating very well into the Hyper-V based VDI environment.

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  1. I have been trying to get Windows Thin PC to work with multi-monitor and have had no success. Does anyone know if this is supported?


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