More details about how Terminal Server will integrate with Longhorn's "Avalon" graphics stack were revealed in a presentation from WinHEC given by Microsoft software architect Greg Schechter.
According to Schechter, Microsoft is planning to make use of Avalon's unique opportunities for Terminal Server environments. Specifically:
- The server machine can send visual trees and updates to the client, requiring much less bandwidth then sending bitmaps with updates.
- The server machine can send animations to the client, allowing the client to generate new frames without any network activity.
Schechter pointed out that both of these allow for higher frame rates and a smoother experience on the client machine while decreasing load on the server. Of course this will also place a greater tax on the client hardware.
None of this should come as a surprise to frequent readers of this site, as we've discussed this future architecture in the past. (Here and here) However, this is the first time that Microsoft has publicly discussed the future Terminal Server architecture.