Remote Desktop Protocol 8.0 Update for Windows 7 SP1: Enabling a great WAN user experience for Windows 7 SP1 virtual desktops

Rate This
  • Comments 26

Hello everyone…

I’m Shanmugam Kulandaivel, a Senior Program Manager in the Remote Desktop Virtualization team. Today, on the Windows For Your Business Blog, Karri Alexion-Tiernan announced additional information on the Remote Desktop Protocol 8.0 Update for Windows 7 SP1. This is exciting news and I’d like to talk about some of the functionality you will see when it is available for download in late Q4 CY2012.

As many of you already know, a salient feature of Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 is the ability to deliver a rich user experience for remote desktop users on corporate LAN and WAN networks. Thanks to RemoteFX and Remote Desktop Protocol 8.0 (RDP 8.0) in Windows 8, customers can deploy Windows 8 virtual desktops using Windows Server 2012 Remote Desktop Virtualization Host and support users on low bandwidth, high latency networks such as work from home users and branch office users.

Can customers deploy Windows 7 as the VDI guest operating system on Windows Server 2012 and deliver a great experience to users on WAN networks? Absolutely yes! Read on to learn how.

The RDP 8.0 update will enable RDP 8.0 (including all the RemoteFX enhancements in Windows 8 that make RDP 8.0 the protocol of choice for VDI) on Windows 7 Service Pack 1. Specifically, the update will provide the following capabilities.

Client access devices running Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will benefit from:

  • Remote Desktop Connection 8.0 Client: Remote Desktop Connection 8.0 client that is compatible with RDP 8.0 and allows users to use new features in RDP 8.0.
  • Dynamic In-Session USB Redirection: Enables users to select USB devices for redirection even in the middle of a remote session.
  • Improved single sign on experience for Remote Desktop Web Access: Simplifies and significantly enhances end user experience by enabling users to provide their user name and password just once when connecting to IT published apps and desktops. Users are not asked to provide their username and password for subsequent connections.
  • Reconnect for RemoteApp and Desktop Connections: Enables end users to easily disconnect and reconnect to IT published apps and desktops.
  • Support for Lync 2013 in VDI : Enables end users to have a fast and fluid video conferencing experience with Lync 2013 in their virtual desktops.
  • Support for Nested Sessions :Support for running a Remote Desktop Connection session within another Remote Desktop Connection session

Windows 7 SP1 virtual desktops running in the datacenter will benefit from:

  • RemoteFX for WAN: Enables end users even on WAN to have a fast and fluid experience by employing advanced techniques such as intelligent and adaptive UDP transports, network loss tolerance and recovery, etc.
  • RemoteFX Network Auto Detect: Automatically detects network characteristics and optimizes user experience accordingly.
  • RemoteFX Adaptive Graphics: Delivers a rich graphics experience that dynamically adapts to server load, client access device load and network characteristics.
  • RemoteFX Media Streaming: Enables end users to get a smooth media experience even on WAN networks for all media content formats.
  • RemoteFX USB Redirection for non VGPU Virtual desktops: Enables users to use their USB devices with IT provided RemoteApp applications and remote desktops.
  • Support for Nested Sessions: Support for running a Remote Desktop Connection session within another Remote Desktop Connection session.
  • Performance counters for monitoring user experience. Watch out for a blog post on this topic with more details.

Also, the support for following features on Windows 7 virtual desktops is natively built into Windows Server 2012 (Remote Desktop Services “What’s New” in Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate):

· User Profile Disks: Simplifies storing and managing user’s personal documents, settings, and configurations for a virtual desktop collection.

· Simplified Administration: Allows creation, patching and other management of Windows 7 virtual desktop collection.

In summary, this update makes Windows 7 SP1 a first class client access device operating system and guest operating system on Windows Server 2012 VDI deployments with WAN support. The following table summarizes the key features and compatibility for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8 guests.


Windows 7 SP1 with RDP 8.0 Update virtual desktops

Windows 8 virtual desktops

WAN support: RemoteFX for WAN

Graphics and Multimedia Experience:

RemoteFX Adaptive Graphics and RemoteFX Media Streaming


RemoteFX USB Redirection

Single Sign On (SSO)

User Profile Disks

Simplified administration

Lync 2013 in VDI

Some questions that you might have…

When will the update be made available? The update will be available sometime in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2012. We recognize the excitement and are working hard on releasing the update to web.

Are the RemoteFX and RDP 8.0 enhancements available for Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Session Host? No, the RemoteFX and RDP 8.0 enhancements are not available for Windows Server 2008 R2 Session Host. However, a Windows Server 2008 R2 computer acting as a client access device will still get the Remote Desktop Connection 8.0 client and thereby get the benefits listed in the ‘client access devices’ section earlier.

Will Windows Embedded Standard 7 SP1 based thin client devices get the RDP 8.0 Update as well? We are working with thin client OEMs and they will make specific information available when they have more information to share.

What is the level of support for Windows XP SP3 Clients? The RDP 8.0 Update will not be available for computers running Windows XP SP3. Customers can instead deploy Remote Desktop Connection 7.0 update for Windows XP (RDC 7.0 Update), and users on such clients will be able to connect to Windows Server 2012 session-based desktops and virtual machine-based desktops. The user experience will be at the same level as that of using a Windows XP SP3 with RDC 7.0 Update client to connect to an RD Session Host server running Windows Server 2008 R2 or a computer running Windows 7 SP1.

I want to summarize by saying that the RDP 8.0 Update for Windows 7 SP1 completes our goal for Windows Server 2012 Remote Desktop Services: WAN ready VDI option for Windows Server customers. Thanks for reading.

To enable RDP 8.0 and experience all the new WAN improvements when connecting to Windows 7, you need to set the Enable RDP 8.0 Group Policy setting after installing the required update packages. For more information, see the “Installation instructions” section of

NOTE: Questions and comments are welcome. For all technical questions and troubleshooting, please post a new thread in the RDS & TS Forum.

Leave a Comment
  • Please add 6 and 3 and type the answer here:
  • Post
  • Great news!

  • Will Windows 7 SP1 virtual desktops with this RemoteFX update also be supported on other hypervisors than Hyper-V?



  • Hi Tom - We'll have specific installation requirements and prerequisites clearly specified in a KB article when the update is released. That KB article will be the authoritative source a for supported configurations.

    To answer your question,  the package can be installed on physical Windows 7 SP1 computers as well – it is not limited to virtual machines hosted in Hyper-V. We will not be able to comment on specific hypervisor support -  you should refer to  for information on support for Microsoft software on non-Microsoft hardware virtualization.

  • 1) Any news on "thin client" hardware that will support full RDP 8.0 functionality?

    2) Is there any way to get the (usually Windows-based) client to pass a local Ctrl-Alt-Delete keypress through to the Server 2012 session? If not, how do you recommend deploying a full desktop to such a device, to give a near-PC user experience? Used to be able to do this with WIndows CE clients, but not (I don't think) with Windows Embedded, which is a shame.

  • Will this release include the fix for the bug where you cannot re-maximize the window (full screen) if you're using 1366x768 resolution after un-maximizing it?

  • @robincm2

    Ctrl + Alt + End will perform the same thing as Ctrl + Alt + Del in a remote session. (However, not all keyboards have End keys, and even on some laptops that do, it's a fn key combo that can't be used with Ctrl + Alt at the same time....)

  • Will the new RDP client fix the shadowing issue when using multiple monitors? We are in the process of moving from Windows 2003 R2 and Citrix XenApp 5 to Windows 2008 R2, and Citrix XenApp 6.5. About half of our users and our entire IT Department have multiple monitors. Most of our users connect to a full desktop in Citrix. We had no problem shadowing our users in the old environment but in the new environment we get an error. I understand the reason for this problem is a change in how Windows 2008 R2 supports Multiple Monitors. Microsoft has KB2484290 that describes this problem. The issue we have with the work around is that it is more time consuming and requires the user be able to accept the support request invitation. We frequently need to shadow a user when they are not at their desk, or their Citrix session is locked up.

    If you could add the ability for the new client to be able to shadow with multiple monitors, that would be great!

  • LawSupport, it looks like the ability to shadow at all is considered "Obsoleted" with RDP 8.0, per KB2592687, therefore I would assume that the issue with multiple monitors will probably never be fixed.

  • Can you define "WAN ready"?  What are the tolerance levels RDP 8.0 has with regards to latency?  How do I know how far off my current WAN links are from providing a "good" VDI experience?

  • Hey ! Hi :) RDP 8 on Win 7 when connected to Win8 / 2012 server consumes 160 MB of memory :( WOW ! When connected to Win7 consumes 20 MB.

  • After installing this update I am unable to connect to my Windows HomeServer 2011 using RDP??

    Uninstalling the update enables me to connect without problems.

  • I was really waiting for this update, especially because of the use of UDP instead of TCP. Now that I have it, why is this only configurable throug a Local Policy ? Why not the abillity to control the settings through a domain GPO ?

    If it is not manageable through a domain GPO, it is virtually unmanageable.

    kind regards,


  • remotefx and firepro is not supported yet. i have tried w600 ati card which does not work with w8x64 drivers. very sad ;(

    maybe we have to wait until full support for w2012 is granted

  • When will there be an updated Mac OS X RDP client that supports RWA and RemoteApps?

  • Hi,

    Thanks for the update.

    However for the home user who does not have any Windows 8 environment and only uses Windows 7, is this update really needed?

    I don't think that I shall have a need for RDP and if I do I can use the current vesion?


Page 1 of 2 (26 items) 12

Remote Desktop Protocol 8.0 Update for Windows 7 SP1: Enabling a great WAN user experience for Windows 7 SP1 virtual desktops