Microsoft's Surface RT: Using existing Windows apps remotely

2012-Nov-08 | Tags: compatibilitydesktophowtosystemusage

Windows on ARMSummary: Can you run existing Windows apps on Surface RT and other Windows RT devices? If you have the right back-end infrastructure and licenses, Remote Desktop may provide a way.

Among the top free apps listed in Microsoft's new Windows Store right now are IHeartRadio, Newegg, Kindle and ... Remote Desktop.

Remote Desktop may not be sexy, but it does allow Windows 8 and Windows RT users to connect to a remote Windows PC and access resources from it. And on the Windows RT front, given its restrictions on use of almost any existing Win32 applications (other than Office 2013 Home & Student, Internet Explorer 10 and some other Microsoft-developed utilities), Remote Desktop sounds -- at least in theory -- like a great way for users to continue to use apps they already have on new hardware like the Microsoft Surface RT.

Microsoft Surface RT

As usual with most things Microsoft, the reality is a lot more complicated. In order to use Remote Desktop and Remote Desktop Services (the renamed "Terminal Services") product, users need certain back-end infrastructure and licenses.

Here's what a Microsoft spokesperson told me regarding use of Remote Desktop and RDS by Windows RT users:

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Windows on ARM - Windows RT