Windows 7 / Networking

Improvements to Remote Assistance in Windows 7

As mentioned previously, Remote Assistance in Windows 7 builds on the many enhancements introduced earlier for this feature in Windows Vista. These earlier enhancements improved upon the earlier Windows XP implementation of Remote Assistance and included the following:

  • Connectivity improvements with transparent Network Address Translation (NAT) traversal using Teredo and IPv6
  • An improved user interface (UI) that is easier to start and use
  • A stand-alone executable (Msra.exe) that accepts command-line arguments and can easily be scripted
  • Improved overall performance with a smaller footprint, quicker startup and connect times, and optimized bandwidth usage for screen updates
  • Enhanced security with mandatory password and integration with User Account Control (UAC)
  • New Offer RA via IM scenario and an open application programming interface (API) for integration with peer-to-peer (P2P) applications
  • Additional Group Policy settings for improved manageability

In addition to these Windows Vista enhancements for Remote Assistance, Windows 7 adds the following new enhancements to Remote Assistance:

  • Easy Connect, a method for soliciting Remote Assistance that uses the P2P collaboration infrastructure to simplify Remote Assistance user interactions
  • An improved Windows Remote Assistance Wizard that makes it easier than ever for users to solicit or offer help
  • New command-line arguments for the Remote Assistance executable (Msra.exe)

Remote Assistance in Windows 7 and Windows Vista deprecates the following features that were available on Windows XP:

  • No more support for the MAILTO method of solicited Remote Assistance
  • No more support for voice sessions

In addition, Remote Assistance in Windows 7 has deprecated the file transfer feature that was available in Windows XP and Windows Vista. Compatibility with earlier versions is still supported, however-for example, if a file transfer is initiated from a Windows XP or Windows Vista computer, Windows 7 will accept the transfer.

For information on interoperability between the Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 versions of Remote Assistance, see the section titled "Interoperability with Remote Assistance in Windows XP" later in this tutorial.

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