GWKB1042 : Window-Eyes and Remote Access

Product: Window-Eyes
Author: Steve Clower
Date Added: 02/17/2006
Last Modified: 04/09/2013

Window-Eyes and Remote Access

This guide describes how to configure Window-Eyes to work with various types of remote access software. Though the steps outlined below apply to Window-Eyes 4.5 and greater, the procedures dealing directly with Window-Eyes assume you are running at least Window-Eyes 7.5. if you are not, the concepts described below still apply, but the methods used to configure Window-Eyes may differ. Take note that the version of Window-Eyes you intend to use for remote access must also support the host operating system. See the "System Requirements" section in your Window-Eyes manual for more details.

Citrix Xenworks

The Basics

Publishing Window-Eyes on a Citrix Xenworks server enables end users to hear other server-based applications, just as if both applications were running locally on the desktop.

Server-based deployment of applications has three key benefits:

  • Providing users with secure access to enterprise resources from anywhere at any time
  • Maximizing IT efficiency with centralized administration
  • Ensuring a consistent set of applications and versions for all users, regardless of location, device or connection

 

For example, a company's IT department can install all the mission-critical applications (such as word processors, email, and order entry systems) on a centralized group of servers. Employees then access the applications on those servers from their own client devices (desktops, laptops, etc.). When the IT department updates a critical application, all users automatically connect to the updated version, without the need to install the new application on each individual workstation.

For more information about Citrix Xenworks Presentation Server, visit www.citrix.com.

Server-Side Configuration

Installing Citrix Xenworks Presentation Server

* Please refer to the Xenworks documentation for the installation and configuration procedures for installing Xenworks. * Xenworks, XPs, or XPa Future Release 3 or greater must be installed on the server before you install Window-Eyes and any other applications.

Installing Window-Eyes

The steps for installing Window-Eyes on a server running Xenworks are identical to those outlined in the installation section of the Window-Eyes user manual.

Enabling Window-Eyes Video Support

There are two ways to enable Window-Eyes video support for Citrix Xenworks sessions:

  1. From the Advanced Options pull down menu in the Window-Eyes program group in the Start menu of the server machine, select the Video Support Maintenance. Select the button labeled "Enable Citrix ICA Video Support" and follow any prompts that may appear.
  2. Log on to the Xenworks server remotely and run Window-Eyes. Window-Eyes will install Citrix ICA Video Support, and will prompt to restart the machine.

 

Window-Eyes Virtual Synthesizer

The Window-Eyes Virtual Synthesizer option provides the user with the best possible option for remote speech synthesis. Without the Window-Eyes Virtual Synthesizer, the only supported methods of speech during a Xenworks session are serial and software synthesizers. The Window-Eyes Virtual Synthesizer allows the user to utilize any non-serial synthesizer that is installed on the local machine (the Triple Talk PCI, Triple Talk USB, DECtalk PC, and DoubleTalk PC are just a few examples), and is especially useful for maintaining a high rate of responsiveness when using SAPI or software speech. The Window-Eyes Virtual Synthesizer option uses a local copy of Window-Eyes for speech output, rather than relying on the synthesizer itself. The local copy of Window-Eyes (which must be running on the client device – the same place where the Citrix ICA Client was launched) will serve as a host between the local synthesizer and the remote copy of Window-Eyes. The Window-Eyes Virtual Synthesizer option is also the easiest to set up by following these instructions:

  1. Run Window-Eyes on the client device.
  2. Run Window-Eyes through a remote session.
  3. From the remote session, select the Virtual (Citrix MetaFrame) synthesizer from the Synthesizer area located in the Devices node of the Window-Eyes control panel.

 

At this point, the remote copy of Window-Eyes will begin transferring speech to the local copy of Window-Eyes. Commands for modifying voice rate, pitch, and tone (as well as the selection of other synthesizers where applicable) will still be executed in the remote session. For information about installing the Window-Eyes Virtual Synthesizer, please refer to the section below titled "Window-Eyes Virtual Server Installation."

Serial Synthesizers

If the Window-Eyes Virtual Synthesizer is not an option, Window-Eyes users have the alternative choice of using any supported serial synthesizer during their Xenworks sessions. To use a serial synthesizer, follow the steps below for serial port mapping.

Serial Port Mapping

If a Window-Eyes user will be using a serial synthesizer during the Citrix Xenworks session, the appropriate serial ports must be configured correctly prior to launching Window-Eyes to create and maintain a talking environment. After a serial port is mapped for a specific client, the mapping will remain in effect through all future connections from that client. Other clients will not be affected by serial port mapping. To map a serial port, use the following steps:

  • Enable serial ports through the Citrix ICA Client application (Citrix Program Neighborhood->Tools/Serial Devices/Add). Please refer to the Citrix ICA Client documentation for more information about setting up serial devices.
  • Using the Citrix ICA Client, log on to the appropriate Citrix Xenworks server using the credentials of the user who will utilize the mapped serial port.
  • Go to the Start menu, and choose Run.
  • Type CMD and press ENTER.
  • At a command prompt, type the following and press ENTER: net use ComX: \\Client\ComY: (where X is the number of the serial port located on the server and Y is the number of the serial port located on the client device.)
  • The following confirmation will display: The command completed successfully.

 

Software Synthesizers

If the Window-Eyes Virtual Synthesizer is not an option, Window-Eyes users can still use a software synthesizer. Audio support will need to be enabled on either the server-side or client-side. For more information about the pros and cons of using software speech, please refer to the "Remote Access Caveats" section below.

Running Window-Eyes Automatically

To enable automatic startup of Window-Eyes after a Citrix Xenworks session is initiated, use the following steps:

  1. Log on as the user for whom Window-Eyes is to load automatically.
  2. Launch Window-Eyes, and access the Window-Eyes control panel with CTRL-BACKSLASH.
  3. Ensure that "Show Advanced Options" is checked underneath the Help menu.
  4. Navigate to the General/Startup Options node of the Window-Eyes settings tree.
  5. TAB to the "After logging in, run Window-Eyes using" radio button group.
  6. Arrow down to Always.
  7. Press Control-S to save your settings.

 

When using this configuration, the logon screen will not be spoken automatically. Pass-through authentication is one solution to this issue. For more information about pass-through authentication, review the Citrix Xenworks documentation.

Client-Side Configuration

Citrix ICA Client

The Citrix ICA Client software does not require any additional setup to support Window-Eyes (aside from what is required to connect to a Citrix Xenworks server).

Citrix Xenworks Web Access

If the client is accessing a Citrix Xenworks server through the Web interface, the client will need to download and install the Citrix ICA Client software. This package, as well as any documentation pertaining to the installation of the Citrix ICA Client software, should be available through the Web interface, depending upon the configuration of the Citrix Xenworks server.

Although the Citrix ICA Java Client software will perform the same as the Citrix ICA Win32 Client software (in terms of running Window-Eyes remotely), it will not support the Window-Eyes Virtual Synthesizer. To use the Citrix ICA Java Client software, the client will need to use either a serial synthesizer (please refer to the above section titled "Serial Port Mapping" for more information) or software speech.

Alternative Citrix ICA Clients

Citrix ICA Clients for alternative operating systems (Windows CE, UNIX, Macintosh, and so on) will support running Window-Eyes remotely. It is important to note, however, that the Window-Eyes Virtual Synthesizer option is available only with the Citrix ICA Win32 Client software.

Window-Eyes Virtual Channel Installation

The Window-Eyes Virtual Channel option provides the user with the best possible option for remote speech synthesis. Without the Window-Eyes Virtual Channel, the only supported methods of speech during a Citrix Xenworks session are serial and software synthesizers. The Window-Eyes Virtual Channel allows the user to utilize any non-serial synthesizer that is installed on the local machine (the Triple Talk PCI, Triple Talk USB, DECtalk PC, and DoubleTalk PC are just a few examples), and is especially useful for maintaining a high rate of responsiveness when using SAPI or software speech. The Window-Eyes Virtual Channel option uses a local copy of Window-Eyes for speech output, rather than relying on the synthesizer itself. The local copy of Window-Eyes (which must be running on the client's workstation – the same place where the Citrix Xenworks client was launched) will serve as a host between the local synthesizer and the remote copy of Window-Eyes. The Window-Eyes Virtual Channel also works with your Braille display if you are running Window-Eyes 7.5 or greater. When enabled, Window-Eyes will send data from the remote connection to a locally connected Braille display, providing complete Braille output. To enable this support, set the "Virtualization" setting found under the "Braille Displays" area of the Window-Eyes control panel to the type of connection you want to use.

To enable the virtual channel support for your synthesizer and Braille display, use the following procedure:

  1. From the Advanced Options pull down in the Window-Eyes program group in the start menu of the client machine, run the Virtual Channel Maintenance utility.
  2. TAB to the "Enable Citrix Virtual Channel Support For Window-Eyes" button, and press ENTER.

 

To uninstall the Window-Eyes Virtual Channel, use the following steps:

  1. From the Advanced Options pull down in the Window-Eyes program group in the start menu of the client machine, run the Virtual Channel Maintenance utility.
  2. TAB to the "Disable Citrix Virtual Channel Support For Window-Eyes" button, and press ENTER.

 

Running Window-Eyes Remotely

Important Hot Keys

Citrix ICA Client hot keys can be defined by modifying the options located in Citrix Program Neighborhood/Tools/ICA Settings/Hot Keys. These hot keys are required for accessing the remote desktop operating system Start menu, ALT-TAB list, task list, and so on. For more information about defining Citrix ICA Client hot keys, please refer to the Citrix ICA Client documentation.

Window-Eyes hot keys can be modified under the Hot Keys area of the Window-Eyes control panel.

Desktop Versus Stand Alone Application

Window-Eyes can be accessed by logging on to a published desktop, or by using Window-Eyes as a published application (depending on the configuration of the Citrix Xenworks server -- Note that shared applications must be running under the same session ID). During a remote desktop session, Window-Eyes will interact with any other application launched in the same desktop area. As a published application (not accessed through a remote desktop session), Window-Eyes will only interact with other published applications launched in the same client's unique session. For example, if Window-Eyes and Microsoft Internet Explorer are both shared applications, and the client runs both applications during a unique session, Window-Eyes will be able to read and interact with the Microsoft Internet Explorer window. Running Window-Eyes as a published application will not read any local application that is run on the client device. Running Window-Eyes remotely through Citrix Xenworks will only allow speech access to other remote applications run under the same unique session. Your local copy of Window-Eyes, however, can be used to interact with your local applications.

It is important to note that, while running Window-Eyes as a remote application, and as a local application, you will have two instances of Window-Eyes on the taskbar at one time. You will be able to tell the difference by examining the names of the applications.

Interacting with Other Applications

After a user initiates a Citrix Xenworks session and is running Window-Eyes successfully, the interaction between Window-Eyes and any installed application will work identically to running Window-Eyes on a stand alone machine with that same application. For example, Window-Eyes keystrokes, hot keys, and reading options for Microsoft Internet Explorer will work the same whether Window-Eyes is running locally or through a remote Citrix Xenworks session.

Multiple Window-Eyes sessions

Multiple users can run Window-Eyes under their own unique sessions with no conflicts with other instances of Window-Eyes running remotely in Citrix Xenworks sessions.

Running Window-Eyes Locally on Server

Window-Eyes can be run on the Citrix Xenworks desktop with no conflicts with other instances of Window-Eyes running remotely in Citrix Xenworks sessions.

Remote Access Caveats

At the time of this documentation, support for SAPI speech synthesizers in a remote Citrix Xenworks session is somewhat lacking. Although the voice quality can remain tolerable, the responsiveness (even over high bandwidth network connections) can lag behind up to two seconds behind a given key press. For a solution to this problem, review the Window-Eyes Virtual Synthesizer option listed in the Server-Side Configuration section.

Window-Eyes users are often comfortable with the Windows hot keys (such as CTRL-ESC, ALT-TAB, etc.) that allow them easy access to commonly used areas in the operating system. Pressing these keys during a remote session will most likely cause the intended action to execute locally rather than in the Citrix Xenworks session. It is important to note the Important Hot Keys section of the Running Window-Eyes Remotely section listed above.

At the time of this documentation, the Citrix Xenworks Management Console application (available only to the Administrator of the Citrix Xenworks server) is written in Java. Window-Eyes, currently, does not support the Java language interface, and therefore does not provide access to the Citrix Xenworks Management Console.

If a user runs Window-Eyes on a client device while at the same time running the Citrix ICA Client software, Window-Eyes will remain loaded, but in a suspended state. This will eliminate any hot key conflicts between the local copy of Window-Eyes and remote copy of Window-Eyes. To communicate with the local copy of Window-Eyes, or other local applications, the user will need to ALT-TAB out of the Citrix ICA Client to switch activation from the Citrix ICA Client to the local desktop. Window-Eyes will no longer be suspended once activation has left the Citrix ICA Client. Closing the Citrix ICA Client will also result in the local desktop regaining activation. It is possible, even after pressing ALT-TAB to move activation to the local desktop, for the remote copy of Window-Eyes to send information to the local copy of Window-Eyes through the Window-Eyes Virtual Synthesizer feature. This may cause some speech to bleed through.

Microsoft Terminal Services and Remote Desktop

The Basics

Remote access via Microsoft Terminal Services, generally speaking, allows users to access a specific machine's desktop from a remote location. For example, a consultant meeting with a client at a remote site may need to access a database installed on a machine located at the consultant's office. Having access to important information from any remote location can drastically reduce the amount of overhead for a traveling consultant.

Server Side Configuration

Windows Server 2003, 2008, and 2008 R2

Please refer to the Windows Server 2003, 2008, or 2008 R2 documentation for the installation and configuration procedures for installing Microsoft Terminal Services.

To enable data redirection in Windows Server 2003, 2008, and 2008 R2, use the following steps:

  1. Press WINDOWS-R to open the Run dialog.
  2. Type gpedit.msc, and press ENTER. This will launch the Group Policy Object Editor.
  3. Traverse to the Local Computer Policy/Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/Windows Components/Terminal Services/Client/Server data redirection folder.
  4. Press TAB to access the content pane.
  5. Arrow Down to the "Allow audio redirection" option and press ENTER.
  6. Press ALT-E to select the Enabled radio button, and press ENTER.
  7. Arrow Down to the "Do not allow COM port redirection" option and press ENTER.
  8. Press ALT-D to select the Disabled radio button, and press ENTER.
  9. Press ALT-F4 to close the Group Policy Object Editor

 

Windows XP Professional

To enable Remote Desktop access in Windows XP Professional, use the following steps:

  1. Press CTRL-ESC to open the Start Menu.
  2. Press M for My Computer (this step assumes the default start menu style).
  3. Press SHIFT-F10 to open the context menu for My Computer.
  4. Press R for properties.
  5. Press SHIFT-TAB to access the System Properties tab control.
  6. Arrow Right to the Remote tab.
  7. TAB to the "Allow users to connect remotely to this computer" check box.
  8. Press SPACE-BAR to check this check box.
  9. Press ENTER to close the Remote Sessions information dialog.
  10. TAB to the Select Remote Users button, and press SPACE BAR.
  11. TAB to the Add button, and press SPACE BAR.
  12. Enter the names of the users who should have remote access.
  13. TAB to OK, and press ENTER to close the Select Users dialog.
  14. TAB to OK, and press ENTER to close the Remote Desktop Users dialog.
  15. TAB to OK, and press ENTER to close the System Properties dialog.

 

Windows Vista and Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise

To enable Remote Desktop access in Windows Vista and Windows 7, use the following steps:

  1. Press CTRL-ESC to open the Start Menu.
  2. Press TAB, followed by C until you select Computer.
  3. Press SHIFT-F10 to open the context menu for Computer.
  4. Press R for properties.
  5. TAB to Advanced system settings, and press ENTER. NOTE: You may need to confirm a User Account Control dialog at this point.
  6. Press SHIFT-TAB to access the System Properties tab control.
  7. Arrow Right to the Remote tab.
  8. TAB to the Remote Desktop radio button group.
  9. Use your arrow keys to select either "Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop (less secure)," or "Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication (more secure)," depending on which one you require.
  10. TAB to the Select Remote Users button, and press SPACE BAR.
  11. TAB to the Add button, and press SPACE BAR.
  12. Enter the names of the users who should have remote access.
  13. TAB to OK, and press ENTER to close the Select Users dialog.
  14. TAB to OK, and press ENTER to close the Remote Desktop Users dialog.
  15. TAB to OK, and press ENTER to close the System Properties dialog.

 

For more information on advanced options for Windows Vista and Windows 7 Remote Desktop access, please refer to the Windows Vista and Windows 7 documentation.

Installing Window-Eyes

The steps for installing Window-Eyes on a server running Microsoft Terminal Services are identical to the installation steps found in the Window-Eyes user manual.

Enabling Window-Eyes Video Support

There are two ways to enable Window-Eyes video support for Microsoft Terminal Services sessions:

  1. From the Advanced Options pull down in the Window-Eyes program group in the start menu of the server machine, run the "Video Support Maintenance" utility. Select the button labeled "Enable Microsoft RDP Video Support" and follow any prompts that may appear.
  2. Log into a Microsoft Terminal Services session, and run Window-Eyes. Window-Eyes will install Microsoft RDP Video Support, and will prompt to reboot the machine.

 

Window-Eyes Virtual Channel

The Window-Eyes Virtual Channel option provides the user with the best possible option for remote speech synthesis. Without the Window-Eyes Virtual Channel, the only supported methods of speech during a Microsoft Terminal Services session are serial and software synthesizers. The Window-Eyes Virtual Channel allows the user to utilize any non-serial synthesizer that is installed on the local machine (the Triple Talk PCI, Triple Talk USB, DECtalk PC, and DoubleTalk PC are just a few examples), and is especially useful for maintaining a high rate of responsiveness when using SAPI or software speech. The Window-Eyes Virtual Channel option uses a local copy of Window-Eyes for speech output, rather than relying on the synthesizer itself. The local copy of Window-Eyes (which must be running on the client's workstation – the same place where the Microsoft Remote Desktop Client was launched) will serve as a host between the local synthesizer and the remote copy of Window-Eyes. The Window-Eyes Virtual Channel also works with your Braille display if you are running Window-Eyes 7.5 or greater. When enabled, Window-Eyes will send data from the remote connection to a locally connected Braille display, providing complete Braille output. To enable this support, set the "Virtualization" setting found under the "Braille Displays" area of the Window-Eyes control panel to the type of connection you want to use.

To enable the virtual channel support for your synthesizer and Braille display, use the following procedure:

  1. Run Window-Eyes on the client machine.
  2. Run Window-Eyes via a remote session.
  3. From the remote session, select the "Virtual (Microsoft RDP)" synthesizer in the Synthesizers section located in the Devices node within the Window-Eyes control panel.

 

At this point, the remote copy of Window-Eyes will begin transferring speech to the local copy of Window-Eyes. Commands for modifying voice rate, pitch, and tone (as well as the selection of other synthesizers where applicable) will still be executed in the remote session. Neither audio redirection nor data redirection need to be enabled for Window-Eyes Virtual Channel support to work. For information on installing the Window-Eyes Virtual Channel, please refer to the section below titled Window-Eyes Virtual Server Installation.

Serial Synthesizers

If the Window-Eyes Virtual Channel is not an option, Window-Eyes users have the alternative choice of using any supported serial synthesizer during their Microsoft RDP sessions, assuming that serial port communication is available. To use a serial synthesizer, be sure to note the configuration options of the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection utility in the Client Side Configuration section below.

Software Synthesizers

If the Window-Eyes Virtual Channel is not an option, Window-Eyes users may still use a software synthesizer, assuming that audio communication is available. For more information on the pros and cons of using software speech, see the Remote Access Caveats section below.

Running Window-Eyes Automatically

To enable automatic startup of Window-Eyes once a Microsoft Remote Desktop session has been initiated, use the following steps:

  1. Log on as the user for whom Window-Eyes is to load automatically.
  2. Launch Window-Eyes- and access the Window-Eyes control panel with CTRL-BACKSLASH.
  3. Ensure that "Show Advanced Options" is checked underneath the Help menu.
  4. Navigate to the General/Startup Options node of the Window-Eyes settings tree.
  5. TAB to the "After logging in, run Window-Eyes using" radio button group.
  6. Arrow down to Always.
  7. Press Control-S to save your settings.

 

When using this configuration, the log in screen will not be spoken automatically. Automatic login via the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection utility is one solution to this issue. For more information on this feature, please review the Remote Desktop Connection utility documentation.

Client Side Configuration

Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Utility

Windows XP Professional, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2 include the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Utility, which is located under the Start Menu, Programs, Accessories, Communications folder. Other operating systems will need to obtain the utility from the following website: www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/downloads/rdclientdl.asp.

Data Redirection

To ensure that sound events occurring on the server machine are directed to the client machine, use the following steps:

  1. Launch the Remote Desktop Connection Utility.
  2. Press ALT-O for Options.
  3. TAB to the Remote Desktop Connection Utility tab control.
  4. Arrow Right to Local Resources.
  5. TAB to the Remote Computer Sound combo box.
  6. Press B for the Bring to this computer option.
  7. Press ENTER to connect to the specified server.

 

To ensure that serial communication on the server machine is directed to the client machine, use the following steps:

  1. Launch the Remote Desktop Connection Utility.
  2. Press ALT-O for Options.
  3. TAB to the Remote Desktop Connection Utility tab control.
  4. Arrow Right to Local Resources.
  5. TAB to the Serial Ports check box.
  6. Press SPACE-BAR to check this check box.
  7. Press ENTER to connect to the specified server.

 

Please refer to the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Utility documentation for additional configuration options.

Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Web Connection

At this time, Window-Eyes will not support the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Web Connection method of accessing remote servers via the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Web Connection ActiveX control.

Window-Eyes Virtual Channel Installation

To install the Window-Eyes Virtual Channel, use the following steps:

  1. From the Advanced Options pull down in the Window-Eyes program group in the start menu of the client machine, run the Virtual Channel Maintenance utility.
  2. TAB to the "Enable Microsoft Virtual Channel Support for Window-Eyes" button, and press ENTER.

 

To uninstall the Window-Eyes Virtual Channel, use the following steps:

  1. From the Advanced Options pull down in the Window-Eyes program group in the start menu of the client machine, run the Virtual Channel Maintenance utility.
  2. TAB to the "Disable Microsoft Virtual Channel Support for Window-Eyes" button, and press ENTER.

 

Running Window-Eyes Remotely

Important Hot Keys

While using the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Utility the system hot keys will apply to the remote system while in full screen, and the local system while in windowed mode. The following list of Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Utility hot keys will assist in navigating the remote desktop under all operating systems:

  • ALT-PAGE UP – Switches between programs from left to right.
  • ALT-PAGE DOWN – Switches between programs from right to left.
  • ALT-INSERT – Cycles through the programs in the order they were started.
  • ALT-HOME – Displays the Start Menu.
  • Control-ALT-BREAK – Switches the client between a window and full screen.
  • Control-ALT-END – Brings up the Windows Security dialog box.
  • ALT-DELETE – Displays the Windows menu.
  • Control-ALT-Numpad-Minus - Places a shadow copy of the active window within the client, on the Terminal server clipboard, which provides the same functionality as pressing PrintScrn on a local computer.
  • Control-ALT-Numpad-Plus - Places a shadow copy of the entire client window area on the Terminal server clipboard, which provides the same functionality as pressing ALT+PrintScrn on a local computer.

 

Multiple Window-Eyes Sessions

Multiple users can run Window-Eyes under their own unique sessions with no conflicts with other instances of Window-Eyes running remotely via Microsoft Terminal Services sessions. For more information on running multiple Remote Desktop sessions under Windows XP Professional, refer to the Remote Access Caveats section below.

Running Window-Eyes Locally on Server

Window-Eyes can be run on the Windows Terminal Services desktop with no conflicts with other instances of Window-Eyes running remotely via Microsoft Terminal Services sessions.

Remote Access Caveats

Software Speech

At the time of this documentation, support for SAPI speech synthesizers on a Microsoft Terminal Services session is slightly lacking. Although the voice quality is tolerable, the responsiveness (even over high bandwidth network connections) can lag behind. For a solution to this problem, please review the Window-Eyes Virtual Channel option listed in the Server Side Configuration section above.

Login Restrictions

Only one login per session is allowed when logging into Windows XP Professional, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 remotely. If a different user is already logged into that machine, the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Utility will prompt to continue the log in, which will consequently log out the currently logged in user. If the same user is already logged into that machine, the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Utility will automatically log out the current session, and continue the remote log in process with no warnings.

Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 Home Editions

Windows XP Home, Windows Vista Home Premium, and Windows 7 Home Premium do not have the necessary components to act as servers with either Microsoft Terminal Services or Microsoft Remote Desktop. They can, however, support the Microsoft Desktop Connection Utility when used to connect remotely to other Microsoft Terminal Services servers or Microsoft Remote Desktops.

Window-Eyes Remote Assistance

Window-Eyes 7.5 and newer include the ability to allow two parties to work with each other's computers remotely over the internet. To do this, one user must ask for help, and the other must offer it. Window-Eyes includes two choices under the "Remote Assistance" section of its Help menu (discussed next) that enable this type of remote collaboration.

Asking for Help

When you select Ask for Help from the Remote Assistance Help menu pulldown, you will be presented with a dialog that includes a Standard Help Request button and an Alternate Help Request button.  After activating the appropriate button, you will be presented with a dialog containing a 8-digit password. You will need to provide this password to the person from whom you will be requesting help.

Offering Help

When you select Offer Help from the Remote Assistance Help menu pulldown, you will be presented with a dialog containing an edit box for your name along with another edit box for a password. The name you enter will be presented to the person to whom you are providing assistance when you attempt to connect to his or her machine. The password you enter must be the same 8-digit password given to you by the person requesting assistance.

The Connection

After a password has been generated, shared, and a successful connection has been made, the connecting session will expand full screen, and all keystrokes issued from the machine providing help will be sent through the remote assistance session to the machine requiring help. You can press Control-Alt-Break at any time to restore the connection to a standard window; this allows the person providing assistance to get back to his or her own system without terminating the connection. Control-Alt-Break can be pressed any time the connection dialog is active to toggle between full screen and standard window. The connection will terminate when either party closes the connection dialog box or when one of the machines loses internet connectivity. It is also important to note that the person at the computer receiving help will not be logged out of his or her Windows session, and he or she will still be able to control the machine. Even so, take care to only allow connections from those you trust.

Caveats

The versions of Window-Eyes used during a remote assistance session must be 7.5.2 or newer. Older versions of Window-Eyes can connect with their equal versions, but not with later versions. Due to restrictions in Windows 8, there is presently no way to receive help from a someone running Windows XP but someone running Windows XP could receive help from someone running Windows 8.