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Reader Challenge February 2011

Limit for simultaneous access in Windows XP/Windows 7

The February 2011 Challenge

In another life (and for other publications) I do a great deal of work with small businesses. I hear from business owners and IT consultants who work with small businesses; they ask questions and provide interesting tips and tricks. Small businesses often have peer-to-peer networks, but the number of small businesses using domains is growing. Some of the applications they use are configured to store all user data on one workstation that's acting as a file server for that application; this is especially true for accounting software. They do this even if there's a domain server instead of using the domain server as a data server.

In Windows XP, the limit imposed for simultaneous access to a workstation sometimes forced businesses to spend extra money to install a Windows Server product on at least one client computer. Now that many small businesses are moving to Windows 7, the problem is going away for many small businesses. Do you know the answer to these questions?

  1. What's the limit for simultaneous access in Windows XP?
  2. What's the limit for simultaneous access in Windows 7?


Windows XP limit is 10. Windows 7 limit is 20.


How to Play

Solve this month's UPDATE challenge, and you might win a prize! Email your solution (don't use an attachment) to [email protected] by March 15, 2011. You MUST include your full name, street mailing address (no P.O. Boxes), and a telephone number in the body text of your e-mail (no embedded graphics or attached data files). Without that information, we can't send you a prize if you win, so your answer is eliminated, even if it’s correct.

I choose winners at random from the pool of correct entries. I’m a sucker for humor and originality, and a cleverly written correct answer gets an extra chance.

Because I receive so many entries each month, I can't reply to respondents, and I never respond to a request for an email receipt. Come back to this page for the correct answer in a month.

January 2011 Reader Challenge Winner

Congratulations to Jim Ruby of Texas, the winner of our January 2011 Reader Challenge. The prize is a copy of Windows 7: The Definitive Guide from O'Reilly Media (

Windows XP limit is 10. Windows 7 limit is 20.
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