Applications That Share Desktop Content
The requirement to exchange computer files is obvious, but often it is desirable to share desktop content as well. When all of the parties are in the same room, it is simple to view another user’s desktop directly or use a device and presentation software for projecting images onto a screen. But increasingly in todays computing world, it is necessary to see what is happening on a computer display in another building, city, or even country. Software making it possible to share desktop visuals and audio from one computer to another becomes invaluable. So it may come as a surprise to some that desktop sharing software does indeed exist for all to use, sometimes with free versions, for the purposes of a web conference, for instance.
Control of a Shared Desktop
Desktop content can be shared in either of two basic approaches. The computer desktop to be shared can function as the master, pushing data over a network to one or more clients. Alternatively, by establishing a remote desktop connection a master user can command a remote desktop and pull the data. In either case, the screen content produced on the shared system is replicated and sent via the network to a window on each remote computer.
Practical Applications of Desktop Sharing
One of the most common implementation of a shared desktop is for software to facilitate an online meeting. For a widespread organization or a company that serves customers in a different location, an application that hosts a web meeting over a network can enable huge savings in money and time by reducing the need for travel. Meeting attendees can still view a web presentation and participate in discussion, just as they would if everyone was located in the same conference room. Online training can also be provided to remote students via a desktop share. Students can follow an e‑learning lecture, view presentations and materials, and interact with the instructor. This approach enables students to enroll in courses beyond those otherwise available to them. Both of these are examples of pushing data from a master system to the clients via web conferencing software.
An example of pulling the shared desktop data is a traveling employee logging in via a laptop to access a personal office desktop or a departmental workstation. While on the road, the employee can still access software and computer power that may not be available on the portable system. A second illustration is computer support, where an expert can assume control of a malfunctioning system to diagnose a hardware, software, or data problem.
Share Desktop Summary
By using software that provides a means to share desktop data from a remote system, computer users needing business software for work within government, companies, or distance learning institutions can greatly expand the information technology at their disposal.