Microsoft today announced a new member of the Windows Server team called Windows MultiPoint Server 2010. Aimed at educational institutions, MultiPoint appears to be, in many ways, a successor to Windows SteadyState, which won't be made available in a Windows 7 version. Here's the news.

Microsoft today announced the release of Windows MultiPoint Server 2010, a new Windows product that increases access to affordable computing in educational scenarios such as classrooms, labs and libraries by allowing multiple users to simultaneously share one computer using multiple screens. Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 is now globally available to OEMs and will be rolling out to Microsoft academic volume licensing customers on March 1. In addition, Microsoft is announcing new partnerships that create a strong global ecosystem of hardware companies that give customers a breadth of choices to buy and use Windows MultiPoint Server solutions.

"We heard clearly from our customers in education that to help fulfill the amazing promise of technology in the classroom, they needed access to affordable computing that was easy to manage and use," said Anthony Salcito, vice president of worldwide education at Microsoft. "That's why we developed Windows MultiPoint Server — a solution that meets these needs and delivers an up-to-date, trusted Windows experience."

Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 is an operating system that enables multiple people to connect to a single host computer with their own monitor, keyboard and mouse through USB or a video card. Each person individually controls his or her own station with an independent and familiar Windows computing experience. Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 is the flagship product in a family of shared resource computing technologies, the MultiPoint solutions, which provide teachers and students with greater access to educational technology. Shared resource computing is an emerging category that allows a customer to tap into more of a computer’s capability to enable a single host computer to support multiple users simultaneously.

More information on how to buy Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 and the Windows MultiPoint family of solutions is available at the Microsoft web site.