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We are in the process of figuring out a way to let our customers demo our product. My thought was to setup a VM and a full install and let them RDP into it. Once they are in, obviously, we can't see what they are doing, as the screen will be locked. We don't really care what they do when they are in, as it will be locked down, but would like to be able to see their desktop in case they have a question for our support team while evaluating the product.

My question, is are there any 3rd party applications out there that will let me do this? I know it can be done with Citrix and shadowing, but that's not really feasible for this project.

EDIT: This is running on WinXp Pro

EDIT2: Please keep in mind that this desktop will be locked down to the max, the client will not be able to do anything besides run our software. They are not able to even open IE. I'm looking for something along the lines of a service that is running in the background that I can connect to.

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4 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Actually there are quite a few products. Microsoft has a free product call SharedView, that is similar to WebEx, that will enable you to start a session, email the session information to the participants, then they can take control.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=95af94ba-755e-4039-9038-63005ee9d33a

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What version Windows? If it's a server os you can find there session in Terminal Service Manager, find their connection, right click and hit "Remote Control".

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Dan - another option is the builtin Windows XP Help and Support Remote Assistance feature.

If properly configured, a member of your staff could provide what is referred to as "unsolicited remote assistance". This is a gpo/gpedit/registry setting. When used in this way, your staff can use the remote desktop functionality to connect to the same shared session as the user. This would require ip connectivity between the person providing support and the Windows XP workstation or a firewall rule to make it work.

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How many active sessions will you have at any given time? Is it a "one-to-one" in most cases or do you want to be able to access a series of sessions at the same time? (more than one active virtual machine for simultaneous client interaction.) Also, would you be opposed to using Windows Server? same code base for XP so it would likely be an option to shadow the sessions.

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