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Hardware Thread, Softxpand Miniframe in Technical; Originally Posted by PeteHopton if you get an x-series and uninstall the ncomputing stuff it turns into a multi-monitor graphics ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteHopton View Post
    if you get an x-series and uninstall the ncomputing stuff it turns into a multi-monitor graphics card solution - with 11 monitors.
    So does that mean you could stick two X-series 5-port cards in a PC, install just a VGA driver, then run Multipoint Server?

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    David Hicks

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    SoftXpand MiniFrame

    Thank you tcmc35 for you helpful comment. It would seem that your "Unofficial" response from Microsoft is the same as the "unofficial" response that they have given UK Government and on that basis government departments are confident to buy. It is a shame that Microsoft are not prepared to make their unofficial comments official but I do understand why they prefer not to do so as uncertainty boosts their profit.

    Do look at Microsoft MultiPoint Mouse: http://www.microsoft.com/multipoint/...k/default.aspx. If SofXpand is illegal then so is Multipoint Mouse. Let's have one rule for everybody. Microsoft would love to have their cake and eat it, wouldn't we all.

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    SoftXpand MiniFrame

    Sorry folks,

    I think the wrong link was in my previous post.
    Windows MultiPoint Mouse Software Development Kit

    Ric, this is the product that I confused you with before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    So does that mean you could stick two X-series 5-port cards in a PC, install just a VGA driver, then run Multipoint Server?

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    David Hicks
    ..... the HP Multipoint solution is based on a chip developed by a company founded by the engineer who was core to the team who invented VNC. Their main technology is video transmission/compression, so there is more "intelligence" to it than just supporting multiple virtual video cards and sending out VGA content.

    The link below gives more information - including something quite rare these days - some technical info about how it works...

    DisplayLink: Technology Overview

    So - generic VGA may work for Multipoint - but without whatever "Displaylink" bring to the party, presumably higher performance....

  5. Thanks to nut-ed from:

    dhicks (10th March 2010)

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nut-ed View Post
    The link below gives more information - including something quite rare these days - some technical info about how it works...

    DisplayLink: Technology Overview

    So - generic VGA may work for Multipoint - but without whatever "Displaylink" bring to the party, presumably higher performance....
    My guess would be that display link brings fast compression/decompression for VGA graphics over USB in order to speed up the display when run through USB.

    I can't see how, even with DisplayLink, a USB based graphics solution could be as fast as a native port on the back of a standard graphics card. With the GPU processing power, GDDR memory and PCIe bus behind it.

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    Display link is just USB VGA. It's much slower than a standard graphics adaptor.

    I'm concerned over all these 'unofficial' responses, these are usually personal opinions and people move on and change, attitudes and direction also change - as has been illustrated by multipoint server.

    In relation to X series and multipoint server, yes you could, but to date it doesn't properly address the sound mouse and keyboard.

    Ncomputing made a press announcement that they were working towards compatibility with Multipoint Server with all devices.

  8. Thanks to PeteHopton from:

    dhicks (10th March 2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    My guess would be that display link brings fast compression/decompression for VGA graphics over USB in order to speed up the display when run through USB.

    I can't see how, even with DisplayLink, a USB based graphics solution could be as fast as a native port on the back of a standard graphics card. With the GPU processing power, GDDR memory and PCIe bus behind it.
    Fair point - it remains to be seen if Multipoint/USB provides "sufficient" graphics performance - if it's not significantly better than "tried and tested" thin clients the whole thing may just fizzle out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerAnscombe View Post
    Sorry folks,

    I think the wrong link was in my previous post.
    Windows MultiPoint Mouse Software Development Kit

    Ric, this is the product that I confused you with before.
    The difference between Multipoint Mouse and SoftXpand is that Multipoint Mouse is a way to use multiple mice with one computer and one screen. In fact I've got a couple of teachers trialling an implementation of the concept after reading about it Microsoft UK Schools : A new way to add interactivity and quizzes to PowerPoint presentations - Mr Fleming's blog is awesome!

    The Multipoint Mouse software does not allow multi-seat computing like SoftXpand, nComputing or Multipoint Server do.

    The document linked to earlier in this thread clearly states that Vista and Windows 7 definitely cannot be used for multi-seat computing and that the licensing implications are effectively the same as those concerning thin client computing (Remore Desktop Services as Microsoft now call it). Of course, this does not mean that SoftXpand, nComputing, Multipoint Server (or any other similar product that runs multiple terminals off a single box) are not viable computing solutions that have a place in schools.

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    SoftXpand MiniFrame

    Hi Ric,

    You are correct. SoftXpand and MS Multipoint Mouse are very different products just as nComputing and MultiPoint Server are also very different to SoftXpand. The reason for pointing out the Multipoint Mouse is just to show that Microsoft are content with multiple users on a single XP unit. In this case up to 25. The number of users is therefore not an issue. There are many applications especially with stockbrokers, and I suppect a number of school IT managers, that use multiple monitors on one PC so the number of monitors is not an issue either. As I stated earlier MS cannot have one rule for themselves and another rule for others. They know this and have therefore chosen to keep quiet. In their position I think I would be tempted to do the same. MiniFrame and Microsoft are not in competition. SoftXpand has been writen specifically for a windows platform and only for a windows platform. We are therefore insisting that anyone who wishes to purchase the most eco friendly desktop solution must also purchase a windows license. No units ever leave our premises without a full legal copy of Windows.

    Roger

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    The question comes down to the legality, wording and 'spirit' of the EULA. For Windows 7 Pro your problem comes in clause 2c

    c. Number of Users. Unless otherwise provided in these license terms, only one user may use the software at a time on the licensed computer.
    Fair enough, this clause alone throws doubt over the use of Multipoint Mouse and indeed meny multiplayer games - PGA Golf anyone? - however this is what is ment by the 'spirit' of the agreement. In this case the 'spirit' being not allowing multiple users to each individually control and access their own idividual software and files.

    There are larger questions as to whether EULA's are even legal in this country. I've read compelling arguements online that suggest that they may well not be. IF that is the case then we could buy XP/7/MAC OS off the self and do what we want with it - including run SoftXpand. This position, to my knowledge, as never been tested in a UK court.

    Either way the legality or the 'spirit' of the EULA would be a matter for the courts. This most likely means MS suing for breech of the terms. This means the question becomes - anybody want to risk being the test case? For my board of governors the answer is - No, unsurprisingly.

    Any how, full EULA's for MS products can be found here...
    http://www.microsoft.com/About/Legal...s/Default.aspx

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    SoftXpand MiniFrame

    Hi tmcd35,

    I understand your concern over the Win7 license clause but as SoftXpand doesn't use Win7 it is just not an issue. SoftXpand runs on XP Pro which I hope everybody now understands is not a problem at all. The only suggestions that I can find in the whole of this forum questioning the legality of software have been quoting EULAs from either Win7 or MultiPoint Server neither of which have anything to do with SoftXpand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerAnscombe View Post
    Hi tmcd35,

    I understand your concern over the Win7 license clause but as SoftXpand doesn't use Win7 it is just not an issue. SoftXpand runs on XP Pro which I hope everybody now understands is not a problem at all. The only suggestions that I can find in the whole of this forum questioning the legality of software have been quoting EULAs from either Win7 or MultiPoint Server neither of which have anything to do with SoftXpand.
    There is a parallel/similar discussion on another thread about the licence/legality of Ncomputing on XP, and from a licencing point of view its hard to see how/why MS would differentiate between multiple users hanging off a PC by a VGA cable or a USB cable or any other kind of cable for that matter

    N-Computing: Anyone using?

    Microsoft did provide a definitive answer to their licencing issue. (of course in favour of MS)

    It is hard to see how this thread is going to resolve without a similar formal quote - whether you feel it is necessary or not, the claims of one lone salesman are not very convincing.

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    SoftXpand MiniFrame

    Hi nut-ed,

    Again you are confusing two unconnected products. SoftXpand and nComputing are very different products as you can tell by some comments stating how difficult it is to upgrade the OS when nComputing is used. This is not a problem with SoftXpand. SoftXpand is just another application running on an XP Pro PC. It does not change the OS or hack into it like other multiseat systems do. If SoftXpand was a problem then Microsoft would have produced a statement by now just as they did with nComputing. They have not because SoftXpand is not a problem. We might be a thorn in their flesh but that is more likely to be because they may be annoyed that they did not think about multiseat computing first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerAnscombe
    I understand your concern over the Win7 license clause but as SoftXpand doesn't use Win7 it is just not an issue. SoftXpand runs on XP Pro which I hope everybody now understands is not a problem at all. The only suggestions that I can find in the whole of this forum questioning the legality of software have been quoting EULAs from either Win7 or MultiPoint Server neither of which have anything to do with SoftXpand.
    But it is a problem as we all migrate to Windows 7. Many schools have already migrated to 7 and many others have a migration plan in place. SoftXpand will not fit into that migration plan.

    Earlier in the thread you stated the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by RogerAnscombe View Post
    SoftXpand currently is writen to run on the tried and tested XP Pro. Like many developers we are not going to look at Vista but we will produce a Win 7 version.
    Is this still the case given the Microsoft licensing documentation, posted by PeteHopton, which clearly states that 7 cannot be used for this purpose?

    I'm also still not convinced that the EULA for XP Pro allows for this type of use. The first section states:

    Quote Originally Posted by Windows XP Pro EULA
    Installation and use. You may install, use, access, display and run one copy of the Product on a single computer, such as a workstation, terminal or other device (“Workstation Computer”). The Product may not be used by more than two (2) processors at any one time on any single Workstation Computer. You may permit a maximum of ten (10) computers or other electronic devices (each a “Device”) to connect to the Workstation Computer to utilize the services of the Product solely for File and Print services, Internet Information Services, and remote access (including connection sharing and telephony services). The ten connection maximum includes any indirect connections made through “multiplexing” or other software or hardware which pools or aggregates connections. Except as otherwise permitted by the NetMeeting, Remote Assistance, and Remote Desktop features described below, you may not use the Product to permit any Device to use, access, display or run other executable software residing on the Workstation Computer, nor may you permit any Device to use, access, display, or run the Product or Product’s user interface, unless the Device has a separate license for the Product.
    To me that reads that up to 10 remote devices may connect to the machine for file sharing, printing or using IIS. It also states that the only way that you may run programs for use by multiple devices (defined as a thing that is used to access services - in this instance it would be the collection of mouse, keyboard and monitor and the service would be shared computing) is through the use of either NetMeeting, Remote Assistance or Remote Desktop.

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    As I stated earlier MS cannot have one rule for themselves and another rule for others. They know this and have therefore chosen to keep quiet. In their position I think I would be tempted to do the same. MiniFrame and Microsoft are not in competition.
    Yes, they do, they've responded to the use of XP for multiseat computing by udpating the EULA in SP3, Vista and W7 to include term 2c.

    The multipoint mouse is an "approved device" and is covered during the license agreement, microsoft are in a position legally to grant an additional license to anyone to use this device.

    There is a 'grey' way of licensing XP for multiseat computing, use XP SP2, with an XP SP2 EULA, but not with a downgrade rights redemtion from W7 or Vista.

    Of course, the legit way is to install server 2003, buy some tsl's and run ncomputing vspace or LG Network Monitor. Which for education works out cheaper anyway right?

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