In Enterprise environments users are often working on a remote (virtual) desktop such as when using SBC or VDI.

They typically get a full screen session, perhaps on a thin client, and have not idea that they are using a remote desktop.

The Problem
imageHowever when they press Ctrl-Alt-Delete they get either the local Security Attention Screen / Task Manager or nothing at all if it has been blocked.

Clever users know they can use alternative key combinations such as Shift-F2 for Citrix or Ctrl-Alt-End for RDS.

But that’s not the seamless experience we want to give our users, is it?

Magic Filter
That’s why I have been working with Andrew Morgan on a new feature called Magic Filter. Magic Filter will be included in the upcoming ThinKiosk 4.0 release.

How does it work?
Magic Filter intercepts special key strokes, such as Ctrl-Alt-Delete and Windows L, on the local machine and passes them on to a remote session.

Magic Filter is not a (filter) driver but just a user mode process running with user privileges.

What is supported?
Magic Filter supports the following Operating Systems:

  • Windows XP
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8 (not RT)
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Server 2012.

The following clients are currently supported:

  • Citrix Online Plugin
  • Citrix Receiver
  • VMware View Client

Although we are already testing with the Remote Desktop Connection client (mstsc.exe) it is not yet included in this release.

The Preview

Magic Filter Preview

After I released the Preview Anton van Pelt asked why I used Windows Server 2003 for the demo. I did that to emphasize that we are not only supporting the newer OS versions but also older versions. As I reply to Anton I made a second video showing that it works on Windows NT 4 and Server 2012 just as well!

Magic Filter on Windows NT and Server 2012