A long time ago I wrote about a partial solution to using multiple monitors with Windows XP and Vista. There were a few limitations at the time, but now Microsoft is promising to solve even those. With Windows 7 (and lets cross our fingers and hope the Windows 7 Remote Desktop client becomes available for Windows Vista and XP), you can now use two or more monitors, even with different sizes with remote desktop.
Some early details, about multi-monitor remote desktop on Windows 7, are available from the Intel networking blog. One thing I should point out is that this is much different than /span. With /span you didn’t get distinct monitors, so maximize wouldn’t work as expected and you all your monitors had to have a common rectangle. That is, if all your monitors had a consistent height, and were horizontally stacked, then you could use them. With the Windows 7 change they are actually treated as distinct monitors allowing for distinct sizes, which is rather handy if you have a laptop with an external monitor and the sizes don’t match.
This is all nifty and cool, but it’s possible it won’t matter much if the entire remote desktop concept trends more toward the remote application concept. More on that soon.