RemoteApp for Windows 8 & Surface

Here’s an interesting technology for anyone wanting to use full Windows Apps on a Surface or other remote PC. RemoteApp is a Microsoft technology that extends Remote Desktop Services, you don’t see the remote desktop but see only the windowed app being pulled through.

What’s interesting is that RemoteApp used to be only available to enterprise customers, who had big server and large infrastructures to support it.

Now it’s been pushed down the the (hardcore) end user thanks to a utility by Kim Knight called, surprisingly RemoteApp

Usually, RemoteApps are hosted on Windows Server 2008 (and above), but some smart folk figured out how to host them on Windows 7. This required manually editing the registry and manually creating RDP files.

This tool bundles up all the elements required to build a hosting file to allow a client to pull just the windows app through onto their machine.

You will need to host your apps on Windows 8 Enterprise, Windows 7 Ultimate or Enterprise or any version of Server 2012 (I used a copy of storage server successfully, plus there is always the 90day trial of 8 Enterprise available).

You will also need to have the .Net Framework 3.5 installed, and with Windows 8 or Server 2012, you need to run the app as Administrator, otherwise its a bit crashtastic.

The end result is a pretty spooky one, apps appear to be native, they appear in your applications list, there is a slight lag, and it’s best for basic apps like Office rather than Photoshop, but it does work, and best of all it works on systems that could never support those apps like Windows RT and the Surface.


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