The latest episode of “Microsoft is incredibly slow at developing Windows Phone apps” features none other than Microsoft Remote Desktop. The Windows Phone app is now finally out of preview — you can grab it directly from the Windows Phone Store.
We say “finally” because the timeline for Microsoft Remote Desktop is a little ridiculous. Microsoft Remote Desktop launched on Android and iOS in October 2013. When pressed a day later, Microsoft confirmed a Windows Phone app was in the works.
In April 2014 — six months after its Android and iOS launch — Microsoft Remote Desktop arrived in preview for Windows Phone 8.1. Now, 17 months after debuting on Google’s and Apple’s platform, it is out of preview on Microsoft’s own mobile platform.
The app’s changelog states the following:
- App is now out of preview
- Added support for connecting through a Remote Desktop Gateway
- Added support for accessing Remote Resources
- Bug fixes and other improvements
In short, the preview label coming off is not the only big change here. The features mentioned above just so happen to be two of the most-requested enterprise features from Microsoft’s UserVoice request site.
The changes mean that Microsoft Remote Desktop for Windows Phone now supports connecting to remote systems that are available on the Internet through a Remote Desktop Gateway. The ability to subscribe to Remote Resources (also known as RemoteApp and Desktop Connections) gives the user access to apps and desktops that are made available to them by their admin through a Remote Desktop Services deployment.
When Windows 10 finally gets off the ground, we can only hope that Microsoft will finally start taking its mobile platform as seriously as it does Android and iOS. It’s great for the company to increasingly push its software and services cross-platform, but Windows should get equal treatment, at the very least.