Windows Server 2012 R2 iOS-Android Remote Desktop apps coming but no Windows Phone?

Microsoft will officially launch Windows Server 2012 R2 on October 18th, but it looks like the company is going to be offering some extra incentives for people to use their latest Server OS. The company has officially announced plans to release iOS and Android Remote Desktop apps that will connect to the operating system for the first time.

Microsoft very briefly mentioned the iOS and Android apps in a press release that mostly talked about the company's cloud-based enterprise software services. The apps are supposed to be released later this month but Microsoft has yet to offer a specific release date or pricing. The company will also release new versions of its Remote Desktop apps for Windows, Windows RT and OS X.

While Microsoft is not talking much about these new apps, Michel Roth, who is a Microsoft MVP on the desktop services side, posted some more information on his blog site today. He stated:

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 posed 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'.

Microsoft certainly seems to be open to releasing its software products on many different platforms, which is something that Google has definitely not shown for the Windows operating systems. However, the press release did not mention a Windows Phone Remote Desktop app which has puzzled some people on Twitter.

We have emailed Microsoft to get clarification on any plans for a Windows Phone Remote Desktop app.

Update: We finally received an update from a Microsoft spokesperson who told us, "We are always looking at additional services based on what we hear from our customers. We have nothing to share at this time."

Source: Microsoft via ZDNet | Image via Microsoft

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66 Comments

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Maybe the intention behind the releases is tablets? I find it very silly when you RDP on a 4.x screen.

I can see why WP8 isn't on the roadmap.

Until MS really decide the future of WP along with WinRT, start merging codebases and frameworks; it's too much of a moving target to set any deadlines or consumer expectation.

We all assume RT and WP8 will be put together at some point. However the new divisions will have to digest each others work and come up with the best architecture for all.

We're not quite there yet.

thartist said,
Uffff, this says a lot, coming from MS themselves.
What a pitiful platform.

Sigh there ALREADY is a "Manage your windows server" app for WP. It's been around since WP7 and you can manage users, alerts, settings and even access files from it. It's logical to assume they'll update that at some point with more remote desktop capabilities.

Umm the Microsoft Press Release says:

* Devices include Windows 8 tablets and iPad tablets with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013; Windows Phone 8, iPhone and Android phone shortly following the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.

That's for Dynamics CRM. There are other releases on that press release. Further more, this is the text related to this article

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.
. This article proves one thing: it's so easy to bait the fanboys/haters on this site to generate traffic.

I don't really see the point in remote desktop on small phone screens. Its not going to be pleasurable to use with all that scrolling and zooming. Maybe Microsoft feels the same way, and the iOS and Android apps are really there for the tablets primarily?

Edit: I've now read the article in full and it does indeed imply that these apps are aimed at tablets, not phones.

Edited by Ryster, Oct 8 2013, 5:19pm :

Even on the large screen of my Lumia 1020, RDP is barely usable. On the other hand the Metro version of the Remote Desktop app for Windows 8 is fabulous.

Leopard Seal said,
Even on the large screen of my Lumia 1020, RDP is barely usable. On the other hand the Metro version of the Remote Desktop app for Windows 8 is fabulous.
I've used it, and I wasn't impressed. Also, the "Metro" version of every app that has a desktop counterpart is crippled. I'd choose the desktop version over the modern ui version any day.

-adrian- said,
even on that large lumia 1020 screen .. oh boy

Other than snark, what's your point? For a phone the 1020 does have a large screen.

ahinson said,
I've used it, and I wasn't impressed. Also, the "Metro" version of every app that has a desktop counterpart is crippled. I'd choose the desktop version over the modern ui version any day.

I have not used the Metro app extensively but I have used it once to quickly switch between 5 connections on a non-touch PC. It worked nicely and even better than the standard if I may say so.
I didn't find it crippled at all.

I don't get why there is not RDP app in windows phone, heck Windows CE had an RDP program included in the OS!

Because WinRT already has an RDP app, and WP8 and WinRT are merging. Hence you'll be able to use the same app for both.

Plus if you actually read the source article it clearly says windows Phone 8. The author is wrong.

j2006 said,
Because WinRT already has an RDP app, and WP8 and WinRT are merging. Hence you'll be able to use the same app for both.

Plus if you actually read the source article it clearly says windows Phone 8. The author is wrong.

Nope hes not, re read the section you keep quoting and facepalm yourself!

After this move, I will never use a MS product again....

on a serious note, have to be a fool to think that MS is abandoning the WP platform. An app will come and probably is in the works. For tablets and phablets when available.

techbeck said,
After this move, I will never use a MS product again....

on a serious note, have to be a fool to think that MS is abandoning the WP platform. An app will come and probably is in the works. For tablets and phablets when available.

MS would have to be fools to not abandon the platform ... oh ... wait.

The official press release says:

* Devices include Windows 8 tablets and iPad tablets with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013; WINDOWS PHONE 8, iPhone and Android phone shortly following the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.

j2006 said,
The official press release says:

* Devices include Windows 8 tablets and iPad tablets with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013; WINDOWS PHONE 8, iPhone and Android phone shortly following the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.

You keep quoting the section related to CRM and NOT the section related to server 2012 R2 remote desktop app - which this article is all about! READ!

I thought we already knew the capability was coming to Windows Phone next year? Didn't Microsoft already say that in their roadmap?

efjay said,
Never mentioned, just wishful thinking.

They mentioned that in their roadmap, not in this article.

Wait...where does Microsoft say they are releasing it for iOS 6/7 and Android on phones? The press release implies that the app is for tablets. There is no Windows Phone tablet so far (not even a phablet).

* Devices include Windows 8 tablets and iPad tablets with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013; Windows Phone 8, iPhone and Android phone shortly following the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.

BajiRav said,
Wait...where does Microsoft say they are releasing it for iOS 6/7 and Android on phones? The press release implies that the app is for tablets. There is no Windows Phone tablet so far (not even a phablet).

Using remote desktop on a phone... Yeah, probably not the best idea on anything smaller than a tablet.

BajiRav said,
Wait...where does Microsoft say they are releasing it for iOS 6/7 and Android on phones? The press release implies that the app is for tablets. There is no Windows Phone tablet so far (not even a phablet).

good point. At a time that the Surface and Windows 8 should be selling more, I don't think this is the time to bring out this feature.... Should have waited a year or something to give everybody this feature.

I haven't seen the statistics, but I doubt their server product is loosing as much ground as Win8 is to tablet OS's...

rfirth said,

Using remote desktop on a phone... Yeah, probably not the best idea on anything smaller than a tablet.

Citrix works fine for me on my iPhone 5. Comes in handy in a pinch if I'm in a meeting or on the road and don't have my laptop with me.

briangw said,

Citrix works fine for me on my iPhone 5. Comes in handy in a pinch if I'm in a meeting or on the road and don't have my laptop with me.


We have Citrix on WP8 too

Microsoft have a My Server / My Home Server app for Windows Phone...and they've had it since WP7. They'll probably just update that to add in remote desktop capabilities.

I mean you can already manage users, alerts and access files from it. So it's "halfway there"

-Razorfold said,
Microsoft have a My Server / My Home Server app for Windows Phone...and they've had it since WP7. They'll probably just update that to add in remote desktop capabilities.

I mean you can already manage users, alerts and access files from it. So it's "halfway there"

At least someone remembered this app.

tsupersonic said,
Way to go Microsoft. Failing to cater to enterprise needs on your own mobile OS...

How many people actually use their mobile device to directly connect to their network? I know with us, we use Citrix and don't allow our phones on the same VLANs as our servers. Allowing that type of access could spell trouble for security of a business.

* Devices include Windows 8 tablets and iPad tablets with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013; Windows Phone 8, iPhone and Android phone shortly following the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.

j2006 said,
* Devices include Windows 8 tablets and iPad tablets with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013; Windows Phone 8, iPhone and Android phone shortly following the release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.

That's the CRM section, heres the section that deals with RDP:

People and devices in the cloud

The proliferation of cloud applications, data and consumer devices is moving many enterprises to a bring-your-own-device model. The new release of Windows Intune, also available Oct. 18, combines with System Center Configuration Manager to help IT departments give mobile employees security-enhanced access to the applications and data they need on the Windows, iOS and Android devices of their choice. This unified management environment for PCs and mobile devices complements the new access and information protection capabilities in Windows Server 2012 R2.

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.

briangw said,

How many people actually use their mobile device to directly connect to their network? I know with us, we use Citrix and don't allow our phones on the same VLANs as our servers. Allowing that type of access could spell trouble for security of a business.

Depends on the business. It is nice to have access to your servers via RDP/SSH after you VPN in with your phone. It has saved my ass many times to have that ability on my Android devices so I can troubleshoot on the fly when I'm on-call.

tsupersonic said,
Depends on the business. It is nice to have access to your servers via RDP/SSH after you VPN in with your phone. It has saved my ass many times to have that ability on my Android devices so I can troubleshoot on the fly when I'm on-call.

Ahh, forgot about that. Yeah, we removed VPN and are basically a Citrix shop now.

tsupersonic said,
Depends on the business. It is nice to have access to your servers via RDP/SSH after you VPN in with your phone. It has saved my ass many times to have that ability on my Android devices so I can troubleshoot on the fly when I'm on-call.

Luckily there are RPD and SSH apps for Windows Phone already. Not directly from Microsoft, but they do work. I use the SSH one occasionally to manage my server.

Hah. When even other Microsoft divisions don't really consider Windows Phone important enough market share-wise you just know it's not the most interesting OS.

Ambroos said,
Hah. When even other Microsoft divisions don't really consider Windows Phone important enough market share-wise you just know it's not the most interesting OS.

You know it's not the most relevant OS, whether its interesting or not has more to do with preference.

Still very strange as it's easy to build such an app if they also have one for Windows RT. Windows RT Is even less relevant than WP8. So I suspect the app is underway but clearly those of the Windows Server team don't consider it all that important. Which is why its a good move to unite all Windows products under one division.

Ambroos said,
Hah. When even other Microsoft divisions don't really consider Windows Phone important enough market share-wise you just know it's not the most interesting OS.

That is a very myopic view of things, typical for most people that are either misinformed, or uninformed completely - your average iThing user. This has little to do with "important enough" or "market share" (both on the rise, btw), and everything to do with the merge of RT and WP. Why should MS waste time on an issue that will evaporate soon?

i take it there's no native rdp app on the windows phone ... rather surprising.
which makes this omission even more surprising

j2006 said,
The official press release actually lists WP8. This article is wrong.

It doesn't though:

People and devices in the cloud

The proliferation of cloud applications, data and consumer devices is moving many enterprises to a bring-your-own-device model. The new release of Windows Intune, also available Oct. 18, combines with System Center Configuration Manager to help IT departments give mobile employees security-enhanced access to the applications and data they need on the Windows, iOS and Android devices of their choice. This unified management environment for PCs and mobile devices complements the new access and information protection capabilities in Windows Server 2012 R2.

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.