Windows is just an application now

Moving towards enhancing remote desktop experiences, Microsoft has unveiled a new application at the ongoing Ignite developer conference. This tool, aptly named “Windows App,” acts as a remote utility, providing users with a centralized platform to manage various remote desktop connections. Whether you’re using Azure Virtual Desktop, Microsoft Dev Boxes, or traditional remote desktop connections, it can streamline controls for these connections into one accessible place.

Having an intuitive interface, it consists of different sections like home page, device page, and app page. Remote sessions are conducted in large windows, displaying essential details such as wallpaper, host system name, and system specifications (available on Windows 365 machines). It also supports custom display resolutions with support for scaling, as well as device redirection for external devices such as webcams, storage, and printers.

The Devices tab as seen on the Windows app.

The new Windows app is currently available in preview format for iPad OS, iOS, Windows, and Web, with plans to expand its availability to Android in the near future. However, it’s important to note that the functionality for remote desktop is limited to macOS, iOS, and iPadOS users only.

Microsoft’s strategic move toward cloud computing is evident in its plans to expand the Windows 365 virtual machine service to consumers, which will allow them to run their personal Windows 11 installations on any device. The Windows app is currently limited to Microsoft business accounts, although signs suggest it may eventually become accessible to consumers as well.

If and when Microsoft releases the app to the general public, it could potentially be a game-changer for mainstream consumers. It could also serve as a modern replacement for Microsoft’s existing Remote Desktop application, which lacks significant updates and has an outdated user interface.

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