back to article Microsoft watches iPads flood into world's offices: Right, remote desktop clients. It's time

Microsoft will release its own apps to manage all the iOS and Android devices that are flooding into organisations as part of the Bring Your Own Device trend. They will be available for download from app stores later this month. The official Remote Desktop (RDP) clients were announced on Monday along with a new RDP client for …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Balmers comment could be applied to using Windows.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The price of the Data Center edition of Windows Server 2012, meanwhile, is also going up – as reported. The Server, which offers unlimited virtualisation, will jump 20 per cent to $6,155 for a pair of processors"

      Because that's the unlimited OS instance virtualisation usage license and processors are getting more powerful....

      1. Levente Szileszky

        Charging for a SP is already...

        ...a pretty nasty thing but selling the same OS w/ SP included for over 20% more is downright disgusting.

        "Because that's the unlimited OS instance virtualisation usage license and processors are getting more powerful...."

        Right and that's why MSFT didn't not need to put an iota extra work in it so it shouldn't cost more - I'm buying more hardware to run the same software - but since the Ballmerian burlesque group is greedy as hell they keep trying to sell even their service packs for more...

        ...another reason to stick with Server 2012, at least for now, I guess (and see what's going on among other platform vendors.)

        1. Levente Szileszky

          Re: Charging for a SP is already...

          PS: if they would sell the extra functionality like some 'add-on' I could totally understand that - I just dislike the idea of reselling essentially the same thing + fixes for more.

          1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
            Trollface

            That is most likely because you're not the one doing the reselling.

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              @Pascal Monett

              I, however, am the one doing the reselling. And Microsoft can go eat a bag of 10,000 wiggling, severed dicks. My costs keep going up and up and up while the rewards go down.

              Raising prices isn't doing me or my customers a damned iota of good. CentOS and RHEL, however, most certainly are.

              Peace, and long live Openstack.

      2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Oh, look, it's Microsoft's paid Anonymous FUD coward. Hey, didn't expect you to be in here trying desperately to get us "on message." Not at all.

        So, how's tricks? The new marketing shakeup treating you right? I hear the budgets got reorganised something fierce and the community engagement efforts were cut by more than half. How'd you keep the gig, anyways? I wouldn't have thought The Regster's comments section was important enough to dedicate meat to in these "tough economic times" (OH GODS MAKE THE QUARTERLY REVENUES BETTER OR WE LOSE OUR JOBS).

        I'm curious about the details of your work with Microsoft. (Or is it Waggner Edstrom?) Do you run multiple sites? Are you a deep web specialist or do you do social media as well? How many forums are in your personal stable, or do you handle it as a team?

        I notice that you take weekends off; is that because of the recent cuts, or was your division always had that limitation? So many questions!

        Hope you're having a great day!

        --Trevor

  2. silent_count

    I'll be damned

    Whether by intent or just happenstance, Microsoft has done something which makes sense. It also betrays that at least someone in MS-land has a handle on reality - that MS doesn't dominate the consumer electronics market the same way it did, and still largely does, own the desktop market.

    Maybe, just maybe, the predictions of Microsoft's demise are premature.

    1. a8

      Re: I'll be damned

      Actually Microsoft did a lot of good things in recent years, Skydrive is one of them. People just hate them by default.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: I'll be damned

        Since MS isn't seriously competing in the tablet world (yet) it only makes sense they would try to do this. If they get a decent market share with tablets running Windows, maybe they change their mind!

        Bad luck for anyone selling 3rd-party apps...

      2. WhoaWhoa

        Re: I'll be damned

        "Actually Microsoft did a lot of good things in recent years... People just hate them by default."

        Don't firget Apple. Hate them by default, too.

        In fact, hate all evil mega-corps by default when they get so full of themselves that they're ready to be taken down a few levels.

    2. N2 Silver badge

      Re: I'll be damned

      Agreed, perhaps some one turned over the rather faded 1993 calender to 2013 & discovered its time to start getting things right.

  3. Norphy

    About.

    Fucking.

    TIME!

    The RDP client for the Mac is ancient, it's desperately needed updating since, oh, 2008. Good to see that iOS and Android are getting 'official' clients too. I just hope that they'll support terminal services gateways as well.

    1. Pet Peeve

      I haven't had a problem with the mac RDP client, especially since it uses PC config files without changes. Better multi-screen support is the only thing I'd really like to see.

      An RDP client for iOS though? NICE.

      1. my farts clear the room

        I tried loads of ios rdp clients before finding one that was both free and supported rdp gateways.

        The freerdp client is more flaky than the all but identical Thinstuff RDC app (which is still a bit flaky).

        http://www.freerdp.com/

        http://www.thinstuff.com/products/rdc/

        Neither is as good on an ipad as logmein, but they've been useful for getting me out of a hole in the past

      2. P. Lee Silver badge

        rdp desktop on a 10" screen is nice?

        I'm happy to have my productivity hobbled by my two 24" desktop screens, thanks. When I go home, I'm happy to VPN and rdp from my 27" + 20" home desktop with desktop laser mouse.

        I know, I'm an old fogey.

        Publish your app, but I don't want a remote desktop at those resolutions thanks.

    2. whatsa

      Pity it was not a two way street

      I could say MS devs were tied up doing the 100th rewrite

      of crap to access goggles stuff and their ever moving goal posts.

      Or Apples walled communist garden.

      At least one of them is doing something about convergence.

      I do get your frustration...

      but its still better than anything you would get from apple or google if they were in that position.

  4. dmcq

    The One Ring

    Sensible idea, but somehow it remind me of the One Ring from Sauron ;-)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So thats why Server 2012 HAD to have Metro inflicted upon it... now it finally makes sense to have metro on a server.

    1. James O'Shea Silver badge

      "So thats why Server 2012 HAD to have Metro inflicted upon it... now it finally makes sense to have metro on a server."

      Proper server jocks remote in and use the command line, anyway. The last time I actually saw a GUI interface on a server was... well, the last time I used the last of the real Mac servers, Snow Leopard Server. That's 10.6, and due to go out of support this year. Since Lion, OS X Server has been relegated to toy status, suitable only for home use. If that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Server 2012 doesn't have any GUI by default.

      1. Levente Szileszky

        "Server 2012 doesn't have any GUI by default."

        This is false - there's no default. You can choose between Core and Full at installation..

    3. Levente Szileszky

      "So thats why Server 2012 HAD to have Metro inflicted upon it... now it finally makes sense to have metro on a server."

      Nonsense - that junk called Metro has NOTHING to do with RDP (unless you count being much harder to use over RDP a feature), neither does running Office etc.

      No, that abomination - Metro on a server - is solely just the Ballmerian super troupe's cost-cutting, arrogant-clueless, idiotic design decision, there's not a single meaningful argument behind it.

      1. Renato

        Terminal Services still run in Windows Server, so using the Metro interface makes some sense. It would be better if it was an optional feature installed only with TS, though.

  6. Alan Bourke

    They're not.

    "This means you can have the odd experience of seeing apps like Excel and Internet Explorer 11 running on an iPad or Android tablet."

    They're not running on the tablet. They're running on the server. A client that receives a picture is running on the tablet.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm still baffled as to how anyone can do proper work on a tablet.

    And as someone who uses RDP via a tablet to save themselves the hassle of walking up some stairs, I'd say controlling desktop applications on a tablet is an unpleasant experience.

    Sometimes I think I'd have just as much control over it if I just aimlessly jabbed at the screen with my cock.

    1. Velv Silver badge

      Re: I'm still baffled as to how anyone can do proper work on a tablet.

      Depends on what you mean by "work" on a tablet. If you spend your day going from meeting to meeting and only really view content then it's a very effective tool.

      If you sit at a desk and actually do real work then stick with the old fashioned keyboard and 27" monitor.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm still baffled as to how anyone can do proper work on a tablet.

        Yes I suppose it's a capable device if you only think in terms of 'red, yellow and green'.

        I bet they still print them out regardless... sigh.

    2. Alan Bourke

      Re: I'm still baffled as to how anyone can do proper work on a tablet.

      Well, it's a use-case thing. Anything involving a lot of typing or mousing, and a big screen, use those. Farting about looking at spreadsheets or documents and pinging the odd email off, tablets fine.

      1. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: I'm still baffled as to how anyone can do proper work on a tablet.

        also, waitressing is a use-case.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm still baffled as to how anyone can do proper work on a tablet.

      > Sometimes I think I'd have just as much control over it if I just aimlessly jabbed at the screen with my cock.

      Doing it this way sure is a lot more enjoyable.

    4. Amorous Cowherder

      Re: I'm still baffled as to how anyone can do proper work on a tablet.

      You can't do anything serious but I always thought Citrix did a pretty good job on my Android tablet. When I get caught on the hop while on-call I can drop into systems and do the odd bit of DB work to keep things ticking along, especially useful when the family clan and I fancy a day out at the seaside I don't have to lug a laptop.

    5. Levente Szileszky

      Re: I'm still baffled as to how anyone can do proper work on a tablet.

      Dunno, my office have glass walls, employees in the main area would be definitely offended if I were to try the same w/ my 27"+24" duo...

      ...come to think of it, being a medical viz firm they'd be offended only by the size.**

      **: of my display.

      I mean the vertical one.

      I mean the MONITOR.

  8. Khaptain Silver badge

    Irony for the twunts.

    Owning an iSomething whilst doing a Google search using IE9.....

  9. monkeyfish

    Windows InTune

    InTune? I'm surprised that one got past cupertinos lawyers.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do you know if the mac client supports RD gateway?

  11. tsimeone

    I simply would ban all iDevices in my organisation.. end of - no tech support and ban all rights connecting in via VPN. or using work network.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      Trollface

      The 90's called - they want their IPSEC policies back.

    2. James O'Shea Silver badge

      "I simply would ban all iDevices in my organisation.. end of - no tech support and ban all rights connecting in via VPN. or using work network."

      And five minutes later the VP Marketing will have a quiet word with the CIO and the ban will be lifted. And if you object, you'll get to see who the company thinks it can live without, you or the marketing department. Hint: it's not the marketing department.

      IT is there to _support_ the users. IT is not there to _dictate_ to the users. It's not _your_ network, it's _the company's_ network. And you _will_ provide support or the company will find someone who will. Microsoft has recognised this. Why can't you?

      1. tsimeone

        I wouldn't want fragmentation personally, MS don't have it right with the tablet market yet nor phone sadly though, and nor do i think they will - I am no fan of android mainly on security grounds

        But i suppose it's personal preference... would not get me far.. lol

      2. logical

        @James

        I have never understood the "it's not _your_ network, it's the "_the company's_ network" diatribe. Folks who say this _NEVER_ apply the same logic to their own job. Why is that? Do you refer to things that you are responsible for as "yours" or do you always refer to them as "the company's"? The personal pronouns indicate responsibility, not personal ownership.

        IT is there to support users, but not just users. There are always constraints like them or not. Sometimes IT must "dictate" in order for things to actually work and be sustainable. Sometimes users want things that simply cannot be done with the resources available.

        1. noominy.noom

          Re: logical

          I think the point is the IT department shouldn't decide what is useful and what isn't. Those are business decisions. Yes a lot of management will like cool stuff regardless of fitness for purpose. But it is not IT's place to decide. IT should supply a well reasoned estimate of the costs to support devices and supply their hopefully educated analysis of the benefits and pitfalls of said devices. But it should be the business units (of which IT is but one) that decide what is going to be supported. Doesn't always work that way in many companies, but it should.

          1. Getriebe

            Re: logical

            @noominy.noom - yup thats about it.

            But I would argue that IT should be ahead of the game and evangelizing new products (vapour, hard, soft or bland) so they are in the decision when it’s being made.

            Too often IT just trails and so has to cope with sometimes poor decisions and also are not in the right place to understand the company’s goals.

            1. WhoaWhoa

              Re: logical

              "IT should be ahead of the game and evangelizing new products"

              No.

              Marketing, Sales - they "evangelise".

              (And probably think it's spelled with a zee).

              In fact they're also the ones who like to use phrases like, "ahead of the game".

              1. swissrobin

                Re: logical

                Spelling evangelize with a Z is acceptable in British English (as well as obviously US English).

                Wikipedia has an interesting piece of it, should you be interested:

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_and_British_English_spelling_differences#Greek-derived_spellings

          2. WhoaWhoa

            Re: logical

            "IT department shouldn't decide what is useful and what isn't."

            Why?

            Don't all departments effectively decide within their areas of expertise?

      3. P. Lee Silver badge

        Fine! Here is the resource costings for supporting byod...

        Actually I quite like thin-client. If users are happy with rubbish front-ends, that fine by me!

        You get rdp access, with web access to some apps via a captive portal.

    3. Admiral Grace Hopper

      There are many things that I would like to ban from my organisation, but my employer will insist that I use and deploy them if I am to get paid. Thems the breaks.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Most of the hardware I'd like to ban from the company happens to be organic in nature.

    4. MJA

      That's basically what happened here and we stopped supporting them. Problem is most people who are non-IT don't understand that concept.

      After we stopped supporting them, my superiors began giving other superiors back handers, casually putting an iPad on my desk and asking me to have a quick look. Now there are so many back handers that we are fully supporting them but via our own management instead of via the client. If I put my foot down and say "sorry, don't support them" I get told to man up and stop being awkward. There's no network access on them but general things like 'Mr CEO's daughter can't get her Gmail to sync'.

      The iPlague creeps in like a rot. I have no problem with iDevices at all if there is the proper infrastructure to support them. The problem I have is a lot of people try to shoehorn them in to organisations because they are cool, with no consideration for the logistics.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I simply would ban all iDevices in my organisation.. end of - no tech support and ban all rights connecting in via VPN. or using work network."

      Already done here. No Android either. Blackberry and Windows Phone and tablets only - and we are migrating all Blackberry users to Windows Phone now that it is FIPS 140-2 certified. And that's out of the box - it didn't need any bolt on code like Android / Knox......

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Which product to save?

    Microsoft are forced into the choice of saving it's desktop and server products and providing RDP clients, and the cost of killing the already dead surface and Windows Phone.

    The other choice is to kill the server and desktop markets and embrace mobile by snubbing Android and iOS.

    I can see a new owner coming along and slashing their non-core and non-profit making products, namely Xbox, Windows Phone and Surface, in an attempt to protect their safe and profitable products Windows, Office, Server.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Which product to save?

      Why do they need to kill off anything?

      Right now, I think Microsoft is slowly (maybe too slowly) heading in the right direction with everything as is. Its kinda like they have good groundings in lots of areas, but none really have killer features right now.

      WinPho is definitely starting to look interesting and with the immenant death of BB there will definitely be a gap in the market for next generation of business phones. Microsoft could slot WinPho nicely into that gap if it isnt too slow about it.

      Surface, as above, the target market should be businesses. Give Win RT proper domain/policy support with fully featured office and it would be perfect for the job. They really need to stop messing about trying to be too fashionable or in the student market and just aim straight for business users.

      xBox/Kinect has a incredible future to it - but somehow feels like its just not quite where it should be yet.

      1. Darryl

        Re: Which product to save?

        More wishful thinking. "M$ is dead!!!!"

        Which has been going on for years, and yet MS is still doing pretty well

      2. Charles Manning

        Re: WinPho is definitely starting to look interesting

        "WinPho is definitely starting to look interesting and with the immenant death of BB there will definitely be a gap in the market for next generation of business phones. "

        Well MS *did* have a reasonably strong position in the corporate phone market with 6.x and lower.

        Then they tried out Kin (for kids) and threw it all away except for keeping the tiles UI for WP8.x. Microsoft phones now try to look like consumer devices covered in social media eye candy. They no longer have that corporate look and feel. MS is acting erratically. They run warm/cold to phones and no longer caters to their mainstream phone market: corporates.

        Any wonder then that Apples and Androids are getting uptake?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Which product to save?

      Xbox makes money (probably not in the years before and after a new product launch, but in the long run 360 has made money, even after the massive cost of the RROD debacle...) XBone probs won't be in profit this year or next, but if after that it can emulate the 360's success it'll be fine.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Which product to save?

        XBox has never made a dime. Clever accounting on Microsoft's part means all the money lost was poured into holes and reported in single really bad quarters you never see talked about, and then lo and behold, the next money Microsoft are shouting from the rooftoops about quarterly profits from their entertainment and devices division.

        It's a shame I can't run my house finances like that, and frankly I don't know how THAT slipped through the Sarbox rules, but then it's Microsoft... Shareholders aren't so stupid thankfully, so my assertion that Xbox could be in the firing line still stands, the launch has gone badly so far, with specs and pricing, privacy issues and confused messages all pretty much guaranteed to make it tank.

        1. dogged

          Re: Which product to save?

          ^^

          Sony fanboy detected.

    3. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: Which product to save?

      Define "new owner" in an MS context. Outside of loony activists like Icahn or Apple spunking thier cash mountain name one individual or group that has the cash to radically change MS'es direction like that. It will be a few years if ever that MS can get Elopped. Although he is back there I suppose - so all he needs is a new evil Mastermind to serve and to get Balmers job.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Which product to save?

      "Microsoft are forced into the choice of saving it's desktop and server products"

      You know Microsoft's server market share is still growing, right? And desktop share is static at over 90%.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Which product to save?

      "slashing their non-core and non-profit making products, namely Xbox, Windows Phone and Surface

      But Microsoft's Entertainments and Devices division made over $10 billion in the last 12 months?

  13. poopypants

    What's the point of Surface Pro

    when you can connect a Bluetooth/wireless keyboard and mouse to a 2560 x 1600 resolution Nexus 10 (around US$400) and use RDP to a proper grunty desktop computer instead?

    1. James O'Shea Silver badge

      Re: What's the point of Surface Pro

      That is bit the Server Division's problem.

      1. James O'Shea Silver badge

        Re: What's the point of Surface Pro

        Ack. That 0s _not_ the Server Division's problem. Stupid touch keyboard.

    2. Robert Sneddon

      Re: What's the point of Surface Pro

      So how much does the proper grunty desktop cost along with the $400 Nexus 10 compared to the Surface Pro which is itself a not-bad "desktop" computer (i5 CPU, 4GB RAM, networking, decent screen, excellent pen graphics etc.)?

      1. poopypants

        @Robert Sneddon (Re: What's the point of Surface Pro)

        The assumption is that one already has a proper grunty desktop computer - at least as grunty as the slowed down Core i5 Surface Pro. I suspect that is probably true for most office workers these days.

  14. Atonnis

    Oh dear...

    Although I'm quite convinced that this is exactly the right direction, and MS should've pulled it together much sooner than now.....I also find myself slightly disappointed that this will give a new lease to the iFans we have amongst the directors.

    They were just beginning to get sick of all the problems associated with trying to work on an iPad and here comes an up to date RDP to deliver applications to them transparently...

    ...sigh...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Upgrade now

    To the official NSA back-door'd RDP client.

  16. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Remote desktops

    Yeah, I have a vnc client on my phone. Of course, given that it's not a tablet, I ran it, was like "Woah" then was like "Oh, wait, this screen is FAR to small" 8-). It did a drag effect (similar to when you can pan around on a large photo) but seeing like 1/20th of the screen at a time still made it a bit useless.

    Anyway, good on them for providing RDP clients for more systems.

  17. John D. Blair
    FAIL

    tried using exchange on my Nexus 7

    I know this isn't exactly the same thing, but I want to relate this story.

    I tried setting up the Exchange connector for the email app on my Nexus 7. I entered the appropriate hostname and my credentials and it looked like things were going to work. Then it popped up a notice that said to proceed I had to agree to allow the IT department of my company the ability to remote-wipe my own device. I get why that was a security requirement to allowing my device access to the email, but it was a deal-breaker. I don't trust my IT department not to accidentally wipe my own device. I went back to using the clunky HTTP interface that works badly on a normal PC.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: tried using exchange on my Nexus 7

      You do realise that your corporate email belongs to them not to you don't you?

      And of course giving you access from your device doesn't remove their responsibility to properly manage corporate data?

      You did read the notice all the way to the end didn't you? And understood that it only applied to the email?

      OOOHHHH!!! You thought they could remotely wipe your whole device!!! ROFLMAO!!

      Idiot.

      1. John D. Blair
        Thumb Down

        Re: tried using exchange on my Nexus 7

        Look, asshole AC, I did read all the requirements, and I acknowledged in my post that "I get why that was a security requirement to allowing my device access to the email."

        Accessing my corporate email required me to allow my email app access to administrator privs on my table, and the very first one on the list is "Erase all data: Erase the tablet's data without warning by performing a factory data reset."

        That's pretty clear to me. Factory. Data. Reset.

        You're right its only the email app that gets the right, but that right is pretty sweeping.

  18. Gil Grissum

    I've been hearing about the "decline of the desktop PC" since 1996. The SUN MICROSYSTEMS Java Station was supposed to replace desktop PC's. Where is Sun Microsystems now? They are Oracle's betch and Scott Micnealy is the one who is "gone". Tablet's may be great for sales people and executives but for production workers or tech support workers such as myself? There's a PC on my desk and it isn't going anywhere, any time soon. Smart phones can't even replace Tablets, much less Desktop PC's that discussion is over. Macs? Sure. Managers and executives. Unless Apple turns everything they make (including Macs) into ARM powered devices, the PC as it is, isn't going anywhere, as far as production in large companies is concerned. At least until MS Office runs on every platform and I don't see Microsoft doing that.

  19. Peter27x
    Facepalm

    Dear Microsoft

    Could you please stop flirting with those other Operating Systems long enough to spend a little time with your own Windows Phone Operating System to nurture an RDP client for it. She's never going to develop into a health and popular teenager if you don't spend some time with her.

    Remember family comes first, especially as Nokia and yourself have just tied the knot, you wouldn't want to get on her bad side so soon after the honeymoon.

    p.s. can you please make up your mind quickly as to who the new uncle is going to be after Uncle Balmer joins Uncle Bill in the retirement home

  20. Jay 2
    Thumb Up

    Interesting

    At the moment I use VMware View Client and Citrix on both Mac and iPad. Being able to get to my trusty work Win 7 VM at home is a blessing. Esp on the iPad where I can usually sort out a quick work emergency without leaving the sofa. Though admittedly somewhere between Win 7 VM, VMware, iOS and more VMware some of the keyboard mapping gets a bit squiffy, no # for example which is a bit of a problem for a Linux guy!

    Whilst I'm not a great fan of RDP (always seems to be slow and cumbersome to me) it would have come in handy the other weekend when my VM was playing up, the Citrix servers were down for maintenance and my work laptop has a dead CMOS battery which meant that the VPN client refused to work as the time/date was wrong. In the end I had to throw VMware View on my own Win 7 VM on the Mac (via Parallels), connect into another work VM and then remote desktop to my PC to run the VMware vSphere client to see what my work Win 7 VM was up to...

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