Someone asked on an internal mailing list why the documentation of security impersonation levels has the following quote:
When the named pipe, RPC, or DDE connection is remote, the flags passed to CreateFile to set the impersonation level are ignored. In this case, the impersonation level of the client is determined by the impersonation levels enabled by the server, which is set by a flag on the server’s account in the directory service. For example, if the server is enabled for delegation, the client’s impersonation level will also be set to delegation even if the flags passed to CreateFile specify the identification impersonation level.
The reason’s actually fairly simple: The CIFS/SMB protocol doesn’t have the ability to track the user’s identity dynamically (this is called Dynamic Quality of Service or Dynamic QOS). As a result, the identity of the user performing an operation on a networked named pipe is set when the pipe is created, and is essentially fixed for the lifetime of the pipe.
If the application impersonates another user’s token after opening the pipe, the impersonation is ignored (because there’s no way of informing the server that the user’s identity has changed).
Of course if you’re impersonating another user when you call CreateFile call, then that user’s identity will be used when opening the remote named pipe, so you still have some ability to impersonate other users, it’s just not as flexible as it could be.