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  1. #1
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    Touch screen support in RDS environment

    I'm not sure if this is the correct area to post this question but it seemed the best choice.

    I'm looking to find out what (if any) plans Microsoft has for better supporting touch screen PCs in an RDS environment.
    My employer runs Windows server 2008 which behaves more or less like Windows 7 from the end users point of view. A few of the firm owners have started using tablets or touch screen PCs in this environment and have found it does not work well (everything is too small to click on.)

    Does Microsoft have any plans to roll out a more Metro-like (tiled) interface for servers in the near future--something that would work better with touch screens?

  2. #2
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    The is a Remote Desktop app in the Windows Store. It can be run full screen. There are almost always scaling problems when going from an older server with an older graphics subsystem to a newer remote device which may easily have a much higher resolution.

    Joe

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    Re: "Does Microsoft have any plans to roll out a more Metro-like (tiled) interface for servers in the near future--something that would work better with touch screens?"

    Yes, it's called Windows Server 2012.

    This new version of WinServer has received quite a bit of abuse on the Net forums because a lot of administrators don't like the (optional) Metro interface. These touch features are exactly what your owners are looking for.

    Note however that the Metro functionality in WinServer 2012 is mostly OS-level "enablement". You then need an actual Metro app to perform the administrative function(s) the owners are looking for. That's where I start to get fuzzy on the availability of such functionality--Metro apps right now are kinda known for lame, superficial functionality as a class. iPad and Android apps give you a better shot at something that will satisfy. Hopefully that will change with time.

    Also, you'll need a handle on the sort of functionality those owners desire. It might be basic monitoring & availability, to which a server dashboard concept might apply. If they want the ability to perform active management, then something much more robust would probably be required.

    There are still significant numbers of server admins who don't even like GUI administrative programs, let alone touch interfaces. Their objections typically fall into one or more of the following:

    - the GUI interface consumes memory and CPU resources. Old school admins want those resources devoted to core, non-optional functions like transaction processing, data caching and all the rest;
    - GUI interfaces are not easily scriptable. Some admins have adopted a near-total scripted admin model. This tends to be most popular in environments with a lot of servers and a strong scripting tradition;
    - Many server admins have strong traditions and habits. Since Metro is fairly new, there are admins who view it as "fluffy and transient". These admins are generally those who place a premium on known, documented processes and established knowledge bases. From this perspective OS upgrades are often done mostly to maintain vendor support, get current device drivers, and support the latest I/O methods. This isn't solely an admin preference either, the applications on the server often have the same perspective. In those cases much the same commentary applies to the database used (if there is one of course);

    Suffice it to say I don't share those ideas, at least not sufficiently to act on them. IMO, such ideas have a germ of truth but are often taken too far. One always has to be open to new and better methods in IT.

  4. #4
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    I decided to do a bit more digging. There is indeed a Metro RDC app available, and it's from Microsoft:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/rds/archive/...-keyboard.aspx

    That said, there is a somewhat negative tone to many of the comments left on the referenced blog. One poster (another Brian, not me) seemed to recommend something called PocketCloud for iOS instead. I also note that the blog thread is 2 years old, so things may have improved on the app functionality front (and that comment of course applies to all apps).

    I always prefer a proper head-to-head comparison in order to get the best understanding and the best choices. So far I haven't found material of this type.

    Now that I think about it though, this request could be fulfilled (in principle) entirely by client side functionality. In other words, give up on the "remote desktop" idea and go instead with a dedicated client-side administrative program. And for Microsoft, that program exists. It's called RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tool):

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/downl....aspx?id=39296

    But now that I read through the pre-requisites, the server must in fact be running WinServer 2012 or higher.

    Here's another article with a broader perspective:

    http://www.infoworld.com/article/261...-a-tablet.html

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