Both Windows Server Essential and Standard allows / allowed to have 2 simultaneous sessions. Now that Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials EOL is this October, and Windows Server 2019 Essentials EOL is next year (2024) October, and Microsoft not selling Essentials directly any more I'm in a pickle.

The box in question does not run any VMs, and is not worth more than $600-$800, it is only for demo / testing / staging purposes. I'm looking something really budget (Essentials was for small businesses, I'd say this is a tiny business). I talked with some companies and I cannot get a 2022 Essentials on a workstation tower, but the weakest server + OS would be at least $2K-$3K, which is a ripoff for me. So I'm even considering Windows 11 Pro.


  1. If someone is logged in via RDP to that box, can another user log in using some 3rd party remote support software (such as WinVNC or something)?
  2. Would the previous scenario (RDP + WinVNC, two separate users) possible for a non Server OS such as Windows 11 Pro?
  3. Would there be the WinVNC and the RDP sessions completely independent, or the WinVNC could only see (shadow) what the RDP user is doing?
  4. How stable is RDPWrapper? How likely that it gets broken by a Windows Update?
  5. Do I need to hack the termsrv.dll for RDPWrapper?

1 Answer 1


I think the issue is, no matter how many people you try dial in over how many protocols… how many 'seats' you need at the remote server. MS restricts by seat, ie logins. Only Server editions have more than one seat.

Just as an idea from way out left-field… Though it would require a complete rethink & may indeed not be practicable at all in your situation, macOS has infinite seats, you're limited really just by processing power.

  • I Googled and MacOS server is discontinued by April 21, 2022. Can you use just regular MacOS? What's the equivalent of RDP? My main development OS is Linux and I use Remmina to RDP into the box. If it was Linux I could use X simply (even back in 2000 I was using X to use a VLSI chip designer CAD software on a Solaris server through a 56 kbaud dial-up from home). Simple 3rd party screen / input sharing doesn't count because me and my client would remote simultaneously doing different things.
    – Csaba Toth
    Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 18:48
  • Actually an iMac might not be that expensive to overflow the budget, the problem is that the app which is hosted on this on-prem box is ASP.NET MVC (not .NET Core). But one day if the app will be migrated to modern .NET Core MacOS could be a viable alternative it has true RDP (so not just screen sharing / remote control type stuff what WinVNC could also provide.
    – Csaba Toth
    Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 18:50
  • From your initial question it didn't seem like you needed any real 'server' functionality, just n-user simultaneous [but different] desktop access. The Mac has no seat restrictions either way. Any number of users can each access their own individual login & work, independently of any other user[s]. Of course, if they're all doing CAD, CFD, animation rendering or code compiling you're going to rapidly drag it to its knees, but if everybody's typing emails or filling spreadsheets, all will be well.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 14, 2023 at 9:58
  • I've never tested a practical limit on users. Here I will sometimes dial into a Mac & use it 'behind' an active user & they can't tell the difference, but that's just a tiny example.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 14, 2023 at 9:58

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