What's New

Terminal services in Windows Server 2003 provide significant new features designed for improved manageability, usability, performance, security, and scalability. With all the changes, it might seem like the terminal services model has been completely redone. In reality, the model is very much the same. It still has a terminal services client component and a terminal services server component. Also, the server component still has two possible modes?remote administration and application server mode?just like in Windows 2000.

The terminal services client component has been renamed and is now called Remote Desktop Connection, just like in Windows XP. The biggest change that makes terminal services look different is the server-side component. The former remote administration mode is now called Remote Desktop for Administration and is treated separately from the Terminal Server application mode component. Although Remote Desktop for Administration and Terminal Server appear to be two separate things, they are in reality two facets of the same technology, like in Windows 2000. The difference is in the way they appear and how they are installed.


The Remote Desktop Connection client actually has the same filename as the previous terminal services client (mstsc.exe).

With the new name comes several new features for both administrators and end users alike. There are new methods for administration (Group Policy, WMI, and ADSI), and the terminal services client is now the Remote Desktop Connection application and uses a new version of the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP 5.1). The updated protocol provides several client enhancements for usability and performance, such as access to local resources and customization settings for low-bandwidth environments, which brings it up-to-date to rival Citrix's Metaframe client and the ICA protocol. There are also a number of new security features, such as easier management of accessibility permissions, client encryption policies, and support for stronger encryption to help administrators secure their terminal services environments. To top it all off, the new Terminal Server Session Directory enhances scalability by fixing problems with running terminal server clusters or farms.