Microsoft on Thursday released Beta 2 of Windows Terminal Server (WTS), code-named "Hydra", its thin-client server software. Using Microsoft's proprietary Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), WTS communicates with Windows CE workstations across a network. The goal of WTS is to provide low-cost access to Microsoft Office and other applications, since Windows CE-based machines are expected to be cheap.

John Frederiksen, Microsoft group product manager for Windows Terminal Server, says the second beta release--which is not publicly available--is a significant upgrade from Beta 1, which was released last November. Beta 2 is faster and includes a Client Connection Manager that simplifies remote application launching. In a WTS network, all applications reside on the server