RemoteFX Features for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012

RemoteFX Features for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012

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Hi, I’m Shanmugam Kulandaivel, a senior program manager on the Remote Desktop Virtualization team. As most of you know, both the Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 operating systems are available in multiple editions. I’d like to use this blog post to provide details on the features of Microsoft RemoteFX® that are supported in each edition of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. 

Before I provide the details, I’d like to start with a summary:

  • Client computers (the endpoint PC that you are accessing the remote computer from) running any edition of Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 support all RemoteFX features, including the ability to connect to RemoteApp, redirect USB devices by using RemoteFX USB Redirection, and support WAN networks.
  • Remote computers (the virtual machine or desktop you are accessing) running Windows 8 Enterprise provide the best user experience and support all management features. Therefore, Windows 8 Enterprise is the only supported edition for use with Windows Server 2012 virtual desktop collections (VDI).

With that summary in mind, let’s first look at the features that Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 editions support when running on client computers, and then we’ll look at the features that Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 support when running on remote computers.

RemoteFX features on client computers

Client computer refers to the computer that the user is physically logged on to. Users use Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) on the client computer to connect to remote computers. The following table lists the features that are supported on client computers running any one of the different editions of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.

 

Operating systems for client computers

Feature

Windows 8

Windows RT

Windows 8 Pro

Windows 8 Enterprise

Windows Server 2012

Windows 7 Enterprise with RDP 8.0 Update

Ability to connect to remote computers

a

a

a

a

a

a

Ability to use RemoteApp

a

a

a

a

a

a

RemoteFX Multi-Touch

a

a

a

a

a

-

Support for redirection features, such as RemoteFX USB Redirection, drive redirection, and smart card redirection

a

a

a

a

a

a

True multi-monitor

a

a

a

a

a

a

RemoteFX for WAN with RemoteFX Network Auto-Detect

a

a

a

a

a

a

RemoteFX virtual graphics processing unit (vGPU)*

a

a

a

a

a

a

RemoteFX Adaptive Graphics and RemoteFX Media Streaming

a

a

a

a

a

a

RemoteApp and Desktop Connections

a

a

a

a

a

a

Email discovery of remote applications and remote computers

a

a

a

a

a

-

Remote Desktop Windows Store app

a

a

a

a

a

-

Support for all other RemoteFX features

a

a

a

a

a

a

 

* Requires that the remote computer be configured with RemoteFX vGPU.

The key takeaway is that users can use any edition of Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 on their client computers and experience all the new features of RemoteFX.

RemoteFX features on remote computers

Remote computers are the computers that users connect to. Remote computers can be a physical computer, a Remote Desktop Session Host server, or a virtual machine. The following table lists the features that are supported on remote computers running any one of the different editions of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.

 

Operating systems for remote computers

Feature

Windows 8 and

Windows RT

Windows 8 Pro

Windows 8 Enterprise

Windows Server 2012 Remote Administration Mode

Windows Server 2012  RD Session Host

Windows 7 Enterprise with RDP 8.0 Update

Ability to connect to remote computers

-

a

a

a

a

a

Ability to use RemoteApp

-

-

a

-

a

a

RemoteFX for WAN with RemoteFX Network Auto-Detect

-

a

a

a

a

a

RemoteFX Adaptive Graphics and RemoteFX Media Streaming

-

a

a

a

a

a

Support for basic redirection features, such as

Clipboard redirection, drive redirection, and smart card redirection

-

a

a

a

a

a

RemoteFX Multi-Touch

-

a

a

a

a

-

Support for advanced device redirection features, 

RemoteFX USB Redirection, and PnP device redirection

-

-

a

-

a

a

Printer redirection

-

a

a

a

a

a

Remote Desktop Easy Print

-

a

a

-

a

a

True multi-monitor

-

a

a

a

a

a

Audio playback redirection

-

a

a

a

a

a

Microphone redirection

-

a

a

-

a

a

Multimedia redirection (WMV redirection)

-

a

a

-

a

a

User profile disk

-

-

a

-

a

a

RemoteFX virtual graphics processing unit (vGPU)

-

-

a

-

-

a

 

While this might seem like lot of specifics to remember, in reality, the feature differentiation is very simple. You just need to remember the following summary when deciding which edition to use for your virtual machine-based desktop deployment:

  • Client computers running any edition of Windows 8 or Windows Server 2012 support all RemoteFX features, including the ability to connect to RemoteApp, redirect USB devices by using RemoteFX USB Redirection, and support WAN networks.
  • Remote computers running Windows 8 Enterprise provide the best user experience and support all management features. Therefore, Windows 8 Enterprise is the only supported edition for use with Windows Server 2012 virtual desktop collections (VDI).

I hope this information is useful and answers the questions that you have on this topic. If you have more questions, please feel free to post a new thread in the RDS & TS forum.


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  • Please add 1 and 1 and type the answer here:
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  • RemoteFX supports OpenGL 1.1 with CPU acceleration.

  • Looks like I am having the same problem as many, I have a new Dell with an AMD S9000 and unable to have a VM of W2K12 running RDSH where clients can use the graphics on this VM or clients connect to the host to use the graphics. If this is by design, it should not be...when will this be resolved?

  • I would like to use vGPU with RDSH in a Hyper-V VM (Windows Server 2012 R2) as well. I do not understand why this is not supported...

  • I am a customer who has just splashed out on Windows 8.1 Pro.

    NB: There is no client-server relationship here, just one PC.

    However, I have important 32-bit only applications that won't even install on this 64-bit OS, and they need a GPU to run them.

    PS: Please don't tell me not to use the 32-applications as that would be very arrogant, and they were very expensive. Thank you.

    Ok, so to solve this I have installed a 32-bit Windows version in a VM using Hyper V, and my applications will install ok within that VM.

    However, they still won't run because they can't detect the GPU.

    How do I get this "RemoteFX vGPU" thing working so they can see the GPU in my machine?

    This must be a very, very common scenario for everyone thinking of upgrading to Windows 8.1.

    Will Microsoft help out, or do I need to maintain a second PC just for my 32-bit applications?

  • Hi All,

    How can i connect a diskless client to remotefx server that is Hyper-V VIRTUAL desktop. Is there any guide or procedure ? Pls. share with me

    Abbas chennai

  • Shanmugam, as I understand, with Remote FX, you can use a scanner, connected via USB on a remote computer to scan documents directly to a server via remote desktop....is that true?  If so, what are the requirements of the scanner? and particular brand or model?  

  • Is a Windows 8(or 8.1) Enterprise physical machine capable of providing a 'RemoteFX encoding for RemoteFX  clients designed for Server 2008 R2 SP1'?

  • @Ethos Unum, yes RemoteFX encoding is also available for physical machines. the key feature that is not available for physical machines is RemoteFX vGPU ie the capability to use a Virtualized GPU.

  • Are there any plans to support sensor redirection (e.g. accelerometer, gyroscope, and camera)?

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