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Windows Vista Remote Assistance: Under the Hood

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Remote Assistance was first introduced in Windows XP. It enabled a new level of support (allowing trusted remote users to access your session(and desktop) and help diagnose problems in real time). In Windows Vista, Remote Assistance technologies have evolved significantly. How so? Tune in and find out from some of the folks from the Windows Vista Remote Assistance development team: Dave Heberer, Software Developer, John Thekkethala, Program Manager, Kalyani Narlanka, Software Developer and Maher Saba, Development Manager. Channel 9 special correspondent Ernie Booth conducts the interview.

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  • Wayne TaylorKryptos Backup People!
    Still watching the Video, if with IP v6 we all have public IP address, doesn't that have a bigger security implications....?

    Get help from people you know, to reduce calls to dell/microsoft support, which means (int the long rung) that they don't get as many call's which means they have lower support overheads, will the customers see windows costs reduce?
  • I'm also still watching but why don't they use UDP hole punching (or is that what they are describing here)? Skype uses it and it seems to work good (+ it's supported by most of the routers).
  • Ernie BoothErnie Booth The Electron Sculptor
    Kryptos wrote:
    Still watching the Video, if with IP v6 we all have public IP address, doesn't that have a bigger security implications....?


    I am getting the IPv6 team to give you an exact answer to this and the UDP hole punching question.

    Kryptos wrote:

    Get help from people you know, to reduce calls to dell/microsoft support, which means (int the long rung) that they don't get as many call's which means they have lower support overheads, will the customers see windows costs reduce?


    A lot of those support services are paid for by the person buying the computer through support contracts, but a lot of people opt out, or have no such option, so for those folks this is a great option. 

    Additionally it does offer smaller computer retailers an option to have better customer support through this feature.

    Lastly it offers our support staff those same options to help solve users computer problems.
  • mixelz wrote:
    I'm also still watching but why don't they use UDP hole punching (or is that what they are describing here)? Skype uses it and it seems to work good (+ it's supported by most of the routers).


    Actually, the Vista networking stack automatically uses UDP hole punching for Remote Assistance if it is unable to create direct connections. The Vista stack will automatically tunnel traffic for IPv6 compatible applications over IPv4 UDP packets (using Teredo) if direct connections are not possible.

    This is completely transparent to the application (and users). The only requirements are that the application be IPv6 compatible, and that the advanced Windows Firewall "Edge Traversal" option be set. Remote Assistance meets these requirements, so it will automatically have it's traffic sent over Teredo in many cases (i.e. almost all scenarios when one of the two parties is behind a NAT).
  • Kryptos wrote:
    Still watching the Video, if with IP v6 we all have public IP address, doesn't that have a bigger security implications....?


    Having a public IP address doesn't mean you are somehow less secure. People with public IP addresses would still be behind edge firewalls, which would prevent unsolicited traffic from reaching them.

    Or, to look at it another way, being behind a NAT doesn't make you more secure. A malicious person can attack NATed systems just as easily as systems with public addresses.
  • Wayne TaylorKryptos Backup People!

    Thanks for the feed back.


    Kryptos wrote:
    Get help from people you know, to reduce calls to dell/microsoft support, which means (int the long rung) that they don't get as many call's which means they have lower support overheads, will the customers see windows costs reduce?


    Lastly it offers our support staff those same options to help solve users computer problems.[/quote]

    That's fine, but if the end user has OEM Windows installed on there PC, then they have to pay for MS-PSS anyway, which I think is a little unfair, you should get say 5 free call's if you have an OEM from microsoft, because the OEM support is not that great at times. If you have the FPP then you get free support anyway.

    Either that or allowed to use one copy of Vista to install on upto 5 PC's...

    IMO....

     

  • Kryptos wrote:
    Still watching the Video, if with IP v6 we all have public IP address, doesn't that have a bigger security implications....?

    Absolutely not.  On the contrary actually, because security is inherent to IPv6.
    Also, the Internet was never meant to be NATed.
    This is a great read for you, and other 9'ers:
    http://www.ipv6book.ca/doc/ipv6book-chap1.pdf

    Now, the question is, what can we do to accelerate the adoption of IPv6 ?
  • Ernie BoothErnie Booth The Electron Sculptor
    Kryptos wrote:
    

    That's fine, but if the end user has OEM Windows installed on there PC, then they have to pay for MS-PSS anyway, which I think is a little unfair



    I don't see how providing better remote assistance and paid support relate to each other.  The only tie in here is that support could use it as a tool to better help the user.

  • Wayne TaylorKryptos Backup People!
    Ernie Booth wrote:
    
    Kryptos wrote: 

    That's fine, but if the end user has OEM Windows installed on there PC, then they have to pay for MS-PSS anyway, which I think is a little unfair



    I don't see how providing better remote assistance and paid support relate to each other.  The only tie in here is that support could use it as a tool to better help the user.



    The relationship to me is if the geeks are helping out everybody else with better remoter assistance (which I'm all for), this will lead to few support calls to MS, which I would imagine would lower there call's, which in turns requires less staff in the call centres, hence MS saving money, but will those savings be passed down to end users...

    Don't get me wrong I MS guy thur and thur, but I think the whole liecensing stucture is a litte odd and difficlut to understand.....


  • Wayne TaylorKryptos Backup People!
    dotnetjunkie wrote:
    
    Kryptos wrote: Still watching the Video, if with IP v6 we all have public IP address, doesn't that have a bigger security implications....?

    Absolutely not.  On the contrary actually, because security is inherent to IPv6.
    Also, the Internet was never meant to be NATed.
    This is a great read for you, and other 9'ers:
    http://www.ipv6book.ca/doc/ipv6book-chap1.pdf

    Now, the question is, what can we do to accelerate the adoption of IPv6 ?


    Thanks for the link, I'll have a read.... May even buy the full book.
  • Great stuff. I work for Citrix and we have a similar product called GotoAssist (and GotoMeeting), this is a paid service. It's quite awesome. Now is there any way in RA to

    1. Give mouse and keyboard control to the RA Expert?

    2. Record a conversation?

    Thanks,

    Prasanna

  • Ernie BoothErnie Booth The Electron Sculptor

    Yes you can give the RA expert keyboard and mouse control and control can always be taken back by the RA novice by hitting escape or through the UI. 

    As for the converstation we don't have VOIP in RA so it doesn't apply. 

  • Used Remote assistance withXP many times - excellent.

    Surprise, surprise - the microsoft gurus have successfully made it poor in Vista Ultimate.

    A remote PC I have connected to many times now is totally unavailable via Vista Remote assistance.  Good going!

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