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Things to look out in Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012

The forthcoming version of Windows Server will feature improved hosting capabilities that users will be able to tap into remotely from a range of client devices, Microsoft has said in a blog post. Windows Server 2012 will include enhancements to its Remote Desktop Services (RDS), the workload within Windows Server that allows connection to virtual desktops, which will improve performance over wide area networks.

Here's a summary of the other improvements. Be warned, they get a bit techy, but the overall message is that Windows Server 2012 will be faster, more responsive and easier to configure!

Adaptive graphics - including codecs optimised for multimedia, images and text, as well as progressive rendering that improves the RemoteFX experience.

Intelligent transports - this will automatically detect the best connection types for the network, taking into account the routers and firewalls involved, to deliver faster response times.

Optimised media streaming - this uses a new codec to reduce bandwidth consumption for media content.

DirectX 11 support with vGPU - this expands the vGPU feature introduced in Windows Server 2008, allowing all Windows 8 virtual machines to take advantage of a DirectX 11-capable graphics processor.

Single sign-on - this will simplify configuration by removing the need to use multiple security certificates.

Multi-touch - supports remote gesture commands, such as pinch and zoom, between the client and host with up to 256 touch points.

Metro-style remote desktop - a new Metro-style application has been added to the app store to provide a touch-first remoting experience, enabling discovery of remote resources and touch optimisation.

The blog goes into detail about two more areas of improvement in Windows Server 2012, including reducing the costs and simplifying the infrastructure involved in using the service, and making end-to-end management easier. "Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2012, is reliable across a much wider range of conditions," said KlaasLanghout of Microsoft's RDS team. "It works better across a wide range of networking configurations, it works better across a wide range of hardware devices and configurations (physical or virtual) and it works better across a wide range of administrative scenarios."

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