Microsoft Remote Desktop Debuts for Windows Phone
It's the first time Microsoft has offered native remote desktop support for Windows Phone devices. / Credit: Nokia

Microsoft's remote desktop app for mobile devices finally arrived on Windows Phone this week. The new version of the Microsoft Remote Desktop app, which has been available for iOS and Android since late last year, is only compatible with smartphones running Windows Phone 8.1, an updated version of the mobile-operating system that was released on April 14 and is scheduled to roll out automatically to all devices running Windows Phone 8 over the next few months.

A good remote desktop app can really benefit business users. You can't always be at the office, but with Microsoft Remote Desktop, you can always have access to your work computer. Remote desktop apps act as a direct portal back to your office machine, allowing you to remotely view and use your work computer directly on your mobile device. Desktop-operating systems such as Windows 7 or Windows 8 weren't designed to be used on a small smartphone screen, but if you really need to check a file or briefly run a program on the go, remote desktop access can be a lifesaver.

Third-party apps with similar functionality already exist for Windows Phone, but Microsoft Remote Desktop represents the first time Microsoft has offered native remote desktop support for its mobile platform. The app uses the same Remote Desktop Protocol that Microsoft has employed for years, and supports any Windows PC that has Remote Desktop enabled. That option can be toggled on and off in the control panel. For small business owners, the app is a reliable – and secure – way to connect remotely to your home PC from the office, or vice versa.