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My company is transitioning all user PC's to Windows 7 64-Bit in anticipation of the 2014 cutoff for Windows XP support. So far everything has been going great except for one specific piece of software that will not run in Windows 7. The current plan is to give everyone a cheap secondary PC to run this software but I feel that's a little much for software that's not even used all the time, although it is essential. I've suggested we install virtual machines but the company does not want to pay for the XP licences.

I have access to a copy of Windows Server 2003 that is no longer being used and I was wondering if it was possible to create a remote desktop server. I know it can be done on a one-to-one basis, but this is a 15 person helpdesk. I'd like to be able to support multiple remote dekstop sessions, each with their own logins and dekstops.

Is this possible? Are there any other alternatives to my issue?

FYI, I've been told that XP mode is only free for consumers. There are costs when used in a corporate environment.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Windows XP mode is now free for all versions of Windows 7 Professional and above, is it not? If you're running a domain, you're at least running Windows 7 Pro - why not just use Win XP mode?

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Windows XP mode in Win 7 is also a solution and hopefully one that costs less money than the CALs would for a Terminal Server. – Tatas Nov 17 '11 at 16:22
I've done precisely this for client sites with archaic software that cannot yet be upgraded. A little user training aside to understand that you had to do something a bit different to get to the legacy software, it worked quite well. – Corey S. Nov 17 '11 at 16:23
Windows XP Mode is fully licensed and free. No OS license is required to use XP Mode but you do need licenses for any licensed products that you install and run in XP Mode (such as Microsoft Office). – joeqwerty Nov 17 '11 at 16:39
+1 XP Mode is capable of much nicer desktop integration than Terminal Services. – Nic Nov 18 '11 at 7:06

I believe you'd still need the terminal server role installed and you'd have to license CAL's for each connection. You can't get access for free like that.

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What Bart says is right on, a Terminal Server is one approach to solve this problem. You'll need to make sure that they app you are using is compatible with Terminal Server environment first though. – Tatas Nov 17 '11 at 16:22

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