Microsoft Remote Desktop
By Microsoft Corporation
Open the Mac App Store to buy and download apps.
With the Microsoft Remote Desktop app, you can connect to a remote PC and your work resources from almost anywhere. Experience the power of Windows with RemoteFX in a Remote Desktop client designed to help you get your work done wherever you are.
In order to successfully connect to a Windows PC, please read the FAQ first at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn473006.aspx
•Access to remote resources through the Remote Desktop Gateway
•Secure connection to your data and applications with breakthrough Network Layer Authentication (NLA) technology
•Simple management of all remote connections from the connection center
•High quality video and sound streaming with improved compression and bandwidth usage
•Easy connection to multiple monitors or projectors for presentations
•Print from Windows applications to any printer configured on your Mac
•Access local files on your Mac from your Windows applications
What's New in Version 8.0.3
•Choose between custom or OS X native full screen mode
•Crash on quit, fixed
•A number of bug fixes
both pretty and functional
This version was pretty lookin' from the beginning. Obviously a clean sheet of paper redesign over the aged “Remote Desktop Connection” which was like that proverbial Soviet pair of shoes — functional but not much to look at. The new MRD has had some difficulty over the last couple of months with crashing at odd times and for obscure reasons (pull down an Excel menu and the remote client crashes? really?) but the last set of fixes seems to have mostly ridden us of that.
The “displays have separate spaces” — excellent idea. And, it appears to work.
My use tends to be running a variety of headless Windows VMs for specific tasks and this new version does very well at that.
What I would like to see: improved keyboard-command shortcut on the main management window and in the individual settings windows. In particular, stick as much as possible to the established metaphor of control-tab moving you from zone to zone (“General — Session — Redirection”) in the settings window.
I crave efficient keyboard shortcuts, but keep in mind that I am a curmudgeon who had been computing for 14 years before touching a mouse.
All in all, very nice work, bravo Microsoft.
Huge gaps in functionality!
First, the good:
The app has some long-needed features, most notably the ability to have a list of saved shortcuts/settings instead of saving each of them to a file. It’s also faster and better-integrated than its predecessor.
Now, the bad:
Why on earth isn’t there a “quick connect” or other box where I can just type in the name of the server I want to use without requiring that I create a shortcut??? This is the ONLY RDP app I have seen without that functionality, including all of the Windows versions and previous Mac versions from Microsoft. As a system administrator who works with many servers, I have zero desire to create a shortcut for each one.
I’d also like to be able to configure global defaults, such as resolution and mapped paths.
Another missing feature is the option to ignore self-signed certificates. I’ve got hundreds of Windows servers that I might need to connect to, all with self-signed certs. That’s not going to change, and I sure don’t want to see a warning every time I use the app.
A feature that isn’t often seen but would be very welcome is the ability to adjust resolution on-the-fly. I understand that requires renegotiating the session, that’s fine. Just check to see if any file/print transfers are in progress, and if not, let me change the resolution! That would make the native full-screen behavior so much more useful.
The app's only virtue is that it'll connect to servers running the latest RDP security, which it seems my favorite (CoRD) no longer does. So, it has the basic minimal functionality.
On the downside, the UI barely functions. The toolbar icons are about 4 times bigger than they need to be (I'm always accentally bringing up the dialogue for a new remote resource when just trying to activate the window), there's no way to select a server from the search results screen (the search field should have a handicapped sticker), there's no way to organize the list of servers (each entry of which takes up at least twice as much space as necessary), and it crashes like a drunk 16-year-old driving an '84 Camaro with bald tires and bad brakes.
So, it works, has the minimally necessary set of features, but has the elegance and reliability of a Yugo built on the afternoon shift after 'all you can drink for lunch' beer day at the factory cafeteria.
UPDATE--Two Weeks Later
I've had to force-quit this app more in the past two weeks than every other app put together over the past 6.5 years (since I started using a Mac). My initial impression (above) over-estimated the program's stability.