Concurrent sessions & those who love them

Feb 15 2007

I was asked recently by some friends, "Why is concurrent sessions so important that you cry about it every time we talk about Vista?" (you can imagine, the friends I speak of are MVPs or MVP-related. For those unaware of the issue I'm referring to, there was a hack for Windows XP that allowed you to have a feature that was only found in Server-based Windows products: the ability to have multiple connections into a system without logging the others off. 

 

Those of you who use Media Center I'm sure can see the usefulness behind this. If you have your system in your living room & just want to do updates to it, rather than interrupt those watching, with Concurrent Sessions, you could remotely log into another user account on the system, download any & all updates...all while still watching MCE on the big screen.

 

screenshot_tvmovies_mediacenter

 

In my situation, things are a little different. I used to have 5 systems, but after moving up north, I had to consolidate my systems. No longer did I have space to have a dedicated MCE machine as well as my server. What concurrent sessions allowed me to do was be able to have MCE on my monitor, and then be able to remotely log in via my work laptop. This allowed me to manage everything on my home server, web browse from my favorites, download, whatever, all while being able to watch TV through MCE on my monitor. It was a nice luxury I got spoiled with. 

 

Since upgrading to Vista, I've had to live without concurrent sessions, and it's been quite difficult. I do fortunately now have a separate TV, so I have a spanning desktop (desktop on my LCD, MCE on my TV), but the losing focus problem is quite annoying. And I lose speed too--now if I want to access my system, I have to use VNC, which is great, but just not as fast or effective as remote desktop.

 

There's a thread over at TheGreenButton about a gentleman working on getting this fixed, but my gripe to Microsoft is this: If you have this feature, albeit required a hacked .dll, but nonetheless, a feature MANY people loved & used, why not just include it? Obviously the capability is there. Am I the only person that thinks one more feature wouldn't have hurt Vista launch sales?

 

Let me know what you think, maybe together we can change this for future updates.