Microsoft thinks Mac, iPhone, and iPad users might want to connect to a remote Windows PC the same way. That’s what the Microsoft Remote Desktop app does, and it’s free.
VNC Meet Free
Mac, iPhone, and iPad users have a number of VNC apps which can connect to each other using what is called VNC ‘virtual networking computing‘ technology (essentially screen sharing between devices).
The app I use the most is called Remotix, which has both OS X and iOS versions, and it even works well to connect an Apple device to a Windows PC.
Microsoft has decided to show some love to Apple’s customers with Microsoft Remote Desktop. Think of it as screen sharing from your Mac, iPhone, or iPad to a remote Windows PC.
For the Mac version, a window pops up with the screen of the remote Windows PC.
From that window you can control the Windows PC screen using the Mac’s keyboard and mouse. It also enables printing from the remote Windows PC to the Mac’s printer.
Files are easily accessed from the Windows PC back to the Mac, or Mac to Windows PC.
I haven’t tried the iPhone and iPad version of Microsoft Remote Desktop yet, but the Mac version works well to connect to my desktop Windows PC at the corporate office.
The user interface is typical Microsoft. That means it doesn’t look, feel, or work like a typical Mac app. Creating an RDP connection took much longer than with Remotix, and it requires the Remote Desktop Gateway.
Think of what Microsoft is really trying to do with the Remote Desktop app. Access Windows apps and documents from your Mac, iPhone, or iPad. You can even use Windows 8 gestures to control the remote screen.
Also interesting is that Microsoft released a Remote Desktop app for Mac, iPhone, and iPad but doesn’t have a Windows Phone version.