Microsoft Remote Desktop client, what is it? | Parallels Explains

What is the Microsoft® Remote Desktop Client?

Microsoft Remote Desktop client is an application that enables you to access and even control your Windows® computer remotely. As of this writing, Microsoft offers Remote Desktop clients for Windows, iOS®, macOS®, and Android® devices.

The screenshot below shows a Remote Desktop Client installed on an iPhone®.

microsoft remote desktop client

For the client to work, you need to enable the Microsoft Remote Desktop service on the PC you want to access and confirm that the PC is accessible from your client. It must be on the same network (LAN or internet) as the device on which the client is installed.

Why Microsoft Remote Desktop is Relevant

Businesses want to get as much productivity from employees as possible. At the same time, employees don’t want to spend the entire day in the office. Not because they don’t want to work, but because they want the freedom to work wherever they please. In traditional IT environments, it’s hard to find a compromise between these two priorities but it can be done with a remote desktop service.

By using a remote desktop client, an employee can leave their office PC running and access files and applications from anywhere — in a coffee shop, on a train, even at home. This can improve employee productivity and satisfaction.

The power of using remote desktop clients can be further enhanced if the remote desktop service clients are connecting to is hosted on a server in a data center instead of just a regular PC. More so if that server is hosted in the cloud. This can pave the way for other benefits such as enhanced disaster recovery, business continuity, and security capabilities.

Reinforcing Microsoft Remote Desktop Clients with Parallels RAS

One major limitation of the Microsoft Remote Desktop client is that not all platforms readily support it. For example, you can’t run it on Linux without jumping through some hoops, so you can’t deliver applications through the Windows client there. Another limitation is that although the Remote Desktop client is easy to install, the service itself isn’t.

Parallels® Remote Application Service (RAS) addresses the first limitation by enabling Linux users (or users of other uncustomary platforms) to access applications through HTML5 web browsers. It addresses the second limitation by providing a simplified method of setting up virtual application and desktop delivery.

To learn more about the limitations of Microsoft Remote Desktop and how Parallels RAS can help, visit Parallels RAS or download the free trial.


  1. Microsoft Remote Desktop | Remote Desktop Clients documentation
  2. | “A new era in the evolution of remote working
  3. Medium | “Remote Work is On the Rise: 4 Reasons Why You Should Consider It
  4. Parallels | Parallels RAS product page
  5. Parallels (white paper) | “How Parallels RAS Enhances Microsoft RDS