the introduction of Windows Mobile 6, we have seen many feature improvements,
including HTML E-Mail, a way better Calendar plus many "under-the-hood"
enhancements. And yes, one application which also gets some serious improvements
is the Remote Desktop application (formerly known as
Terminal Service Client).
When I got my first Windows Mobile Pocket PC back in 2001, I hadn't had an idea,
what Terminal Service Client was about but now, where the::unwired is running on
Windows servers (for some years), where I have 3 PCs in the office and two at
home I know what it is and how much I like it.
Therefore I was pretty impressed when I saw the first Windows Mobile 6 Beta
which included an updated version of Remote Desktop. At that time, I was running
the Beta on VGA screen Pocket PC Phone Edition and the latest version allows to
use it in fullscreen mode. No more bars on top and bottom which makes using it a
Now I've received a good amount of question via E-Mail from Windows Mobile 6
Professional users (as well as I've seen this question numerous times in the
newsgroups) asking where the Remote Desktop application is on their device. A
question I've asked myself as well when I've recently tested the Glofiish X500+,
the Toshiba G900 and an upgraded O2 Xda trion. Not a single sign of Remote
Desktop, neither as a shortcut in the Start menu nor as a "hidden" application
in the Windows folder. Therefore I've recently asked Microsoft for a statement
what went wrong with Remote Desktop for Windows Mobile 6.
Basically nothing went wrong except one thing - Remote Desktop now is an
optional feature for carriers and ODMs. You have to know that some applications
on Windows Mobile devices are mandatory, others are optional. For instance
Internet Explorer Mobile and Outlook Mobile are mandatory while Windows Live (or
MSN Messenger before) are optional and Microsoft also made the Remote Desktop an
optional application for Windows Mobile 6 devices now (before it was mandatory
for Pocket PCs and Pocket PC Phone Editions while it was never available for
Smartphones anyway). And no question, this makes absolutely sense for
mass-market consumer devices since most consumers have no use for Remote Desktop
and taking it out of the ROM saves space which can be used for other
applications as well as it's not irritating users. I have to admit, that in the
very beginning I also deleted the shortcut from my Start menu since I hadn't had
a use for it. Something which changed only later.
However, unfortunately many responsible product managers at carriers (today more
or less the main customers of ODMs) never differentiated about consumer,
prosumer and professional devices. A missing application which might not hurt a
consumers too much might be important for professionals but if you have never
used Remote Desktop for yourself, you might haven't seen the value of it.
Therefore it was, because it's an optional component only which the ODM has to
add proactively, simply - more or less - forgotten. Again, it's not Microsoft's
fault since Microsoft is still offering (an even improved) Remote Desktop Mobile
to all its manufactures, it's just not added by any manufacture yet (except some
vertical device manufactures - maybe).
This means, as hard as it sounds, that you cannot get a (single) Windows Mobile
6 Classic or Professional device today which has Remote Desktop!
Again, it's not affecting let's say 95 % of the readers of the::unwired.
However, if you are a professional, administrating Windows Servers and you did
this in the past with you pre-Windows Mobile 6 devices, better don't upgrade to
a Windows Mobile 6 device yet. If you do, your only option is (the more
insecure) VNC to get remote access to your PCs and servers. At the moment,
Remote Desktop Client for Windows Mobile 6 isn't available as a separate
Last but not least the good news: Microsoft is fully aware of this situation
and is currently working on a "fix". According to Microsoft it's too early to
talk about what the fix could be but the Windows Mobile team has this problem in
mind as well.
Cheers ~ Arne