Microsoft releases Remote Desktop 8.0 for iOS and Mac

Microsoft releases Remote Desktop 8.0 for iOS and Mac

Summary: As announced earlier in October, Microsoft released its Remote Desktop 8.0 for iOS and Mac to the Apple iOS and Mac App Stores.


As mentioned in Mary Jo Foley's report earlier in the month, these new versions of Remote Desktop client are delivered alongside Windows Server 2012 R2.

Once these new Remote Desktop apps, which include an overhauled version of the two-year-old Mac Remote Desktop client, are available, Microsoft will be providing access to virtual desktops on everything from Windows and Windows RT, to iOS, OS X and Android. Users will be able to connect from devices running these operating systems to Windows and Windows Servers to work with applications and files stored there.

The iOS version for iPhone and iPad can be found here in the Apple App Store.


•Access to remote resources through the Remote Desktop Gateway •Rich multi-touch experience with remote desktop protocol (RDP) and RemoteFX supporting Windows gestures

•Secure connection to your data and applications with breakthrough Network Layer Authentication (NLA) technology

•Simple management of all remote connections from the connection center

•High quality video and sound streaming with improved compression and bandwidth usage

•Easy connection to external monitors or projectors for presentations

The Mac version adds printing to Mac-configured printers, and support for multiple monitors or projectors for presentations.

Windows Remote Desktop 8.0 for Mac.

Reviews on the Mac App Store were mostly positive, although some users reported crashes, and issues with its non-Mac-style user interface.

For example, Macboy1975 wrote that the client was good but missing "a few things." He also noted that it takes longer to establish a RDP connection with Remote Desktop 8.0 than with than other clients he uses.

The single biggest problem is that there is no "unity" view where you have a list of servers on one side of the RDP window. This is my favorite feature of CoRD [CoRD: Simple RDP Remote Desktop] because it allows you to have dozens of open RDP connections all managed through a single window with a list of servers on the side. When your RDP connections are open in separate windows, it becomes difficult to manage them and — worse yet — it becomes much more likely that you'll click into the wrong window and do something that you intended to do on another machine. It's a real risk that's far less likely with a CoRD-like approach.

Topics: Windows 8, Apple, iOS, Laptops, Operating Systems, Virtualization

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  • Why is there a need for Microsoft to do this?

    There are already lots of excellent RDP clients long before this. Microsoft should concentrate on writing a great Windows OS, and make it easier for people to RDP. It should realize for every RDP client user, there is a copy of a Windows license sold somewhere.

    Microsoft should make it easier to RDP, for those who do not know how to configure networks or port mapping. Something akin to Logmein would be good. Also, Microsoft should consider RDP for non-Pro licenses.
    • How easier can it get?

      You can enable RDP in FIVE clicks on Windows 7/8.

      Actually, on Windows 8.1, it can take even less clicks:

      1. If you type "remote" on the start screen, on the right click "Allow remote access to this computer" on the right and the screen to enable RDP appears.
      2. CLICK the "Allow remote connections to this computer" radio button and then CLICK OK.
      Three clicks!

      Also, you asked "Why is there a need for Microsoft to do this?" Well, the answer is right there in your post: "To make it easier for people to RDP!" RDP is a Microsoft protocol so when someone thinks about RDP or Remote Desktop, they're automatically thinking about Microsoft Windows. Isn't making a good RDP client the sensible thing for Microsoft to do in order to make it easier for people to RDP instead of a person having to hunt around for a good RDP client, read reviews and try out different products?

      Again I ask, "How much easier can it get?"
  • I like it!

    Well, I just decided to download the app so I could RDP to my Windows server. I like the clean, simple interface and the long-overdue Gateway feature.

    Compared with 2X, which I was using before but crashes more than a few times per hour, it connected extremely quickly. Let's hope it doesn't keep crashing as well.

    At least Microsoft understands that in order for their ecosystem to have a future, they need to develop software and products that work well on other platforms and help bridge those other platforms with theirs.