Thanks for posting and asking. One good thing is there are these several different options for turning one computer into many with relatively cheap USB client devices.
Of the multiseat solutions available today, we see Windows Multipoint Server 2011 as the best overall in terms of the factors that you mention (overall hardware and software ease of setup and compatibility). Microsoft has based this product on Windows Server 2008 R2 (which is based on the same codebase as Windows 7) – and this is the most recent Windows Server version (see http://microsoft.com/windowsserver/)). All the devices we sell (including all the functions of the Plugable UD-160-A http://plugable.com/products/ud-160-a/ ) have drivers available - so it’s really quite a good situation that way.
Did you have any trouble with the built-in display, audio, keyboard, mouse (and any USB drives also plugged into the dock), with the UD-160-A and WMS 2011? Let us know if so - we’ll be able to help.
Linux multiseat solutions can be great (whether commercial like Userful or open source), but definitely it’s not the same driver and application options as on Windows. Generally Linux is best where there’s already a comfort level there, or with web-focused use. We’re hopeful about coming fully open source solutions, just because zero per-user license cost will make a huge difference in the appeal of this kind of solution.
Miniframe modifies the operating system and graphics drivers to make multiseat work on an existing copy of Windows (they have different versions for XP and Win7). It has it’s own limitations, though, as you’ve seen - they have to integrate deeply with the OS and drivers to do their magic, and that can have its own consequences. They’ve previously had support for DisplayLink-based devices on their XP product, and are working on support for them on their Win7 product. We don’t have dates from them yet on when that support will be released.
I hope that little bit of additional background helps. Specific to our product, please email email@example.com if you have any troubles at all - we’ll be able to help solve the problem. And we never want customers stuck with product that isn’t meeting their needs, so we’re happy to arrange a return/refund if that’s best.