Microsoft Remote Desktop app seemingly bound for iOS

It seems the ever more widespread Microsoft is set to launch its very own Remote Desktop application for Android and iOS. This is in addition to versions for Windows, Windows RT and OS X, and was very casually slipped into a press release, as reported by All About Microsoft's Mary Jo Foley:

Further, with Windows Server 2012 R2 Microsoft is introducing the Microsoft Remote Desktop app, available for download in application stores later this month, to provide easy access to PCs and virtual desktops on a variety of devices and platforms, including Windows, Windows RT, iOS, OS X and Android.

In the days of old, such support for the iPhone and iPad from Microsoft would be unheard of, but times are changing. Mobile is an ever increasing front and Apple is one of the leading contenders with the iPhone, and in particular dominating the tablet space with the iPad.

Better yet, these apps from Microsoft aren't supposedly any stripped back, lesser experience either. It seems the folks at Redmond are deadly serious about BYOD according to Microsoft MVP Michel Roth as reported by Paul Thurrott of the Supersite for Windows:

"Microsoft is very serious about enabling BYOD [Bring Your Own Device] by means of desktop virtualization," Roth writes. "When you see the clients you'll notice they are pretty sweet and not as basic or as 'v1' as you might expect. The iOS Remote Desktop app supports iOS 6 and 7 and the Android Remote Desktop app is poised to support Android versions as far back as Gingerbread. The OS X Remote Desktop app provides even more functionality that you would expect from a 'desktop app'. Think about 'seamless windows' or 'applications portal'."

So, anyone who relies on Windows, yet makes use of an iPhone, iPad or a Mac – or Android device, if you're that way inclined – looks to be in for a treat when these new apps roll out. Does the sound of this fit a need you currently have, or have you already got a better remote desktop solution on the go?

Source: All About Microsoft, Supersite for Windows

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Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Reader comments

Microsoft Remote Desktop app seemingly bound for iOS


A quick look in the App Store shows more than 30 Remote Desktop apps currently available, anywhere from "free" up into the tens & twenties. And that's not including the VNC apps. While I'm glad to see more competition, I not going to be holding my breath waiting for this app.

I use Mocha's RDP Lite which I believe was free. It does most of the light Windows work that I need done.

I may have missed this in the article, but I'm wondering if this will work with Windows 7 in addition to Windows 8. I have a HP Envy laptop with Windows 7 on it (that is until I get my iMac)....absolutely HATE Windows wondering if this will be compatible with this app for iOS.

Just use startisback or start8 and all your hate will go away, windows 8 is faster and better than windows 7.

I use Mocha RDP from iPad 1 (iOS 5) and iPhone 4 (iOS 7) and it's OK for me. Not heavy use.

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The big problem with all of these 30-something RDP apps is that they don't support RD Gateway, Microsofts VPN-killer implementation for securing RDP access through the internet. On does, iTap RDP, but it was discontinued the day Microsoft announced their new clients strongly suggesting this functionality will be included. This means secure tunnled RDP access through SSL passing through virtually any firewall at hotels and public hotspots, or of course through Microsofts own Direct Access mechanism for always-on internal access through SSL.