A: Microsoft released an announcement at the Remote Desktop Services team's blog, titled " Remote Desktop Protocol 8.0 Update for Windows 7 SP1: Enabling a great WAN user experience for Windows 7 SP1 virtual desktops."  It documents the RDP 8.0 update (which is native to Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012) for Windows 7 SP1--both when Windows 7 SP1 is an RDP client AND when Windows 7 SP1 is running in a virtual machine (VM) as part of a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment.

Key features for client access devices running Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2:

  • Remote Desktop Connection 8.0 Client: Remote Desktop Connection 8.0 client that's 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 a user name and password just once when connecting to IT published apps and desktops; users aren't asked to provide a 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

Key features for Windows 7 SP1 virtual desktops running in the data center (VDI):

  • 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.