Remote Desktop as it is know today first was provided to Window XP and Windows Server 2003. Previously Terminal Services was used with earlier versions of Windows NT. See racks of machines.
Remote Desktop connections are available with the professional versions of Windows. This is not available with the home versions which only have client capability..
Remote Desktop uses the same accounts as local users. XP Professional is licensed for as many a 10 simultaneous remote users. Multiple machines are easily established to make a group.
To enable remote desktop, press Win+Pause/Break and ans select remote settings from the menu on the left. One remote is enabled its possible to use remote desktop and connect to the machine over the network.
For gaming, remote desktop can leverage a video card installed on the host machine. The game is then rendered by the host and the display is update over the LAN. Fast internet allows remote desktop to work with machines anywhere. The focus for this article is for local machines a local area network.
Its possible for those with compatibility problems to operate serveral machines with various versions of Windows. One machine can host WIndows XP, and another can host Windows 7 etc. It’s even possible to run the old Virtual PC with Windows XP and load Windows 98.
Windows 98 can support up to 64GB of storage so a small SSD would be ideal for a host machine. Windows 2000 and above are MBR limited and can support up to 2TB SSD. Windows 8 and above can support UEFI GPT boot which is limited to 18EB.
Remote desktop uses the host GPU to render the game and the video output is then routed to the guest.
WIndows XP is not being supported anymore so its not a bad idea to share the system disk so that other machines can scan the disk for malicious programs. The XP machine shows up with Vista etc using the Windows 10 explorer,. Mounting a disk makes it easy to scan for malware.
Machines on a rack can all be shown in explorer and right clicking on a machine can establish a remote desktop session. Its very important that good passwords are used, this way miscreants cannot hack into a machine. Remote desktop can save the credentials so it’s not a big problem with long string passwords.
There are not many games with compatibility problems. Most are due to the various DRM schemes used over the years. There are a few old game disks that will not work with Windows XP, Most games will run fine mostly as XP was on the market for a very long time.
The biggest problem with games from the XP period is SecurOM and other disk check schemes. The lack of suitable drivers for Vista and above are uncommon.
WINDOWS 95 AND 98
It’s a lot of work but it’s possible to get remote desktop working with Windows 98. Combined with DOS in Hyper-V it’s possible to ultimately achieve complete backwards compatibility. It simply means a table or two full of machines. The power bill becomes brutal as more machines are powered up.
Many of the very old Windows 98 games gave surfaced on Steam,. Some of the games actually work with Windows 10 natively. Work with virtualbox has been successful at making some old games work.