Windows RT gets access to 'desktop' apps via Azure RemoteApp
- By Kurt Mackie
- Jul 03, 2014
Microsoft recently released its Azure RemoteApp client for Windows RT devices, giving users a way to access apps that they can't install on their machines.
Windows RT machines, such as the Microsoft Surface 2, are based on ARM chip technology and can only run Windows Store Apps. Using the RemoteApp client, Windows RT device users can access "desktop" apps, which are the more traditional Windows 7-like apps.
While the RemoteApp programs will appear to run locally, they are actually running in Azure on a virtual machine on a remote data center, Microsoft' said in its announcement.
While the applications accessed via the Azure RemoteApp client have to be hosted remotely to be accessed, Microsoft offers a demo for organizations or individuals who haven't set that up. The demo provides testers with five minutes of free access to Excel, PowerPoint and Word running on the Azure RemoteApp infrastructure, as described here.
In addition to the Windows RT client for Azure RemoteApp, clients are available for Android, iOS and Mac OS X platforms. Microsoft is planning to release an Azure RemoteApp client for Windows Phone 8.1 sometime this summer.
The Azure RemoteApp service was announced at Microsoft's TechEd event in May. It's not the same as a desktop-as-a-service offering, which Microsoft hasn't really talked much about for Azure. However, Brad Anderson, Microsoft's corporate vice president for Windows Server and System Center, suggested in a recent talk that Microsoft might consider virtual desktop infrastructure solutions for Azure sometime "in the future."
Azure RemoteApp uses Microsoft's Remote Desktop Services protocol to connect with clients. It taps Microsoft Azure datacenter infrastructure or it can be set up in a hybrid network. At present, there's no indication when Microsoft plans to roll out the service commercially.
This article originally appeared on Redmondmag.com, a sister site to GCN.