First published on CloudBlogs on Oct, 09 2012

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
KB2592687 .

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