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INFO: Services, Desktops, and Window Stations
Article ID: 171890 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q171890
A Microsoft Windows NT, Windows 2000, and Windows XP service has a Window station and Desktop combination associated with it. This is based on which account the service is running in:
A Window station can either be interactive or noninteractive. (Only "Winsta0" can be an interactive Window station.) Any Desktops that are created on the interactive Window station can become active. An active Desktop encompasses the ability for user objects (such as windows and dialog boxes) created on the Desktop to be visible to the interactively logged-on user (that is, the user who logs on the system by pressing CTRL-ALT-DELETE) and receive user input.
When the interactively logged-on user launches any processes, these processes are associated with the "default" Desktop in the "Winsta0" Window station. The "default" Desktop is considered the active Desktop. A process on the active Desktop could switch Desktops such that another Desktop becomes the active Desktop such as the "Winlogon" Desktop. Only one Desktop can be the active Desktop at any one time. The SwitchDesktop API can be used to activate a desktop. For more information, see the Platform SDK online documentation.
Desktops associated with a noninteractive Window station can create user objects. These objects will never be visible to the interactively logged-on user and will never receive any user input. If you have a noninteractive Service running in the LocalSystem account, any user objects created by the service will not be visible to the interactively logged-on user. Additionally, any processes that are launched by the service will also not be visible.
Following is other important information concerning Window stations and desktops:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/327618/EN-US/ )INFO: Security, Services and the Interactive Desktop
Article ID: 171890 - Last Review: November 21, 2006 - Revision: 4.1