Windows 8

The first five business apps you should install on a Windows 8 device

Touch-friendly Remote Desktop app

This gallery is also available as a post in the TechRepublic Five Apps Blog.

One of the biggest attractions of Windows 8 is Microsoft's effort to bridge the gap between consumer-focused touchscreen devices and business productivity systems. The Windows 8 operating system will run both so-called "legacy" applications on the traditional desktop and the new touch/mobile-friendly "Windows 8 style" (formerly) Metro apps available through the Windows Store. Windows RT, for ARM-based devices, runs only the new style apps.

While many business users are likely to revert to the desktop applications for more sophisticated productivity tasks, those with tablets and touchscreen laptops are going to be looking for new style apps to fill business needs. In the time leading up to launch day, Microsoft has populated the Windows Store with a sprinkling of apps in each of several categories, including Business and Productivity.

I'm writing this prior to Windows 8 release and rumor has it that the company may be "holding back" some of the best apps to release in conjunction with the OS launch (see the More on the Way section at the end of this article) so there will certainly be additions to my list at that time.

In the meantime, here are five apps that business users should consider installing immediately on a new Windows 8 device.

Remote Desktop

If I could install only one app on my Windows 8 tablet, the Remote Desktop app would be it. This is the app that gives you a full Windows desktop even on the Windows RT version of a tablet, but with a simple, touch-friendly user interface.

Through the miracle of the RDP protocol and RemoteFX technologies, the new Touch Keyboard, Touch Pointer and Zoom features give you the kind of remote desktop experience you longed for and never could achieve with the RDP clients available for the iPad and Android tablets.

Credit: Images by Debra Littlejohn Shinder for TechRepublic

About

Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MCSE, MVP is a technology consultant, trainer, and writer who has authored a number of books on computer operating systems, networking, and security. Deb is a tech editor, developmental editor, and contributor to over 20 add...

12 comments
RealInIT
RealInIT

What about all those legacy applications that are critical to the business model??? It's a cute little CGA graphics UI but for power users running critical apps, it's an non-starter. You really think major corporations are just throw away those apps for some fluff apps that belong on a smart phone??? The major corps have not even adopted private Cloud storage solutions yet, whatever makes MS think that they accept this cloud doc holder??? Keep dreaming MS!!!

JCitizen
JCitizen

the "new style" apps, that will run on Win8RT? Just wondering! :O

inertman
inertman

remote desktop doesn't need to be installed... it's included in every version I've seen since 4/12.

david.lloydjones
david.lloydjones

Why on earth does the market -- that's us -- allow these people to get away with putting out small format computers that you can't also talk on or through, like telephones? It reminds me of the period about five or eight years ago when the copier makers made us buy separate machines for scanning and for faxing, simply because they *could*. The technologies overlapped like crazy, the desk territory was crying out for unification, but still the manufacturers were able to get away with producing separate, crippled, machines to force us to buy two or three where one should have done. To this day I use Wilkinson Sword razors and Crst toothpaste, simply because those two manufacturers went to market with superior products when Gillette and Colgate, respectively, were deliberately withholding superior products to exploit market friction and take profit "rents" to use the economists' term. Now then, who will be the one to break through on the computer/communications front? My guess, tentatively: Samsung -- if only the courts don't bow to the monopolists and oligopolists and make their innovations "illegal," i.e. judicially lynched.

rcl4rk
rcl4rk

Thanks for this great (and timely) article. I've been testing Windows 8 preview for several months and SkyDrive for about a month now. I LOVE SkyDrive! I use it to upload, access and edit documents and photos from ALL my devices: my laptop, 2 Android Smartphones (home and work) and even my new digital camera. SkyDrive integrates with Microsoft Office Apps and is totally "Cloud" based. This is currently my favorite App!

GSG
GSG moderator

I use Remote desktop many times per day, and if it is not preinstalled on the tablet, then I'd want it there. I RDP all of my servers, and it would be nice to be able to do that from a tablet.

JCitizen
JCitizen

The article said Skype would be available. I actually haven't seen one of these "Pads" that someone wasn't able to drum up telephone functionality. My girl friend is doing it with her Nexus tablet.

greggfowler
greggfowler

I don't quite understand why you would want a smaller device and table with the prerequisite that you must "talk" on it. Communication via text or email creates a record so that there is less confusion. Of course if one has the need to talk, you can talk and even video conference on most all these devices over wifi or a mobile connection if so equipped. I certainly don't jump at the newest trend and much of the market is for profit, but these new pads and devices have an unfilled niche of general usefullness.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

using network connected combination scanner / fax/ printer all in one systems since 1991.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

most of the rest of the world pays for Internet access by the Megabyte, so we work hard to keep it to the essential downloads only, this sort of constant shuffling of stuff across the Internet is very expensive in most countries. Much cheaper, easier, and a damn sight quicker if I just carry around a pocket size external drive or USB drive with the data etc on - what one you use depends on the amount of data you want portable, just plug into the device I wish to use at the time. If it's for the various systems you have on your LAN at home, just get a network storage device and all done a lot quicker and cheaper.

pjboyles
pjboyles

The RDP application is included. Look in "All Apps | Windows Accessories" or find it on the desktop. There is however a Windows 8 style version front end available for download which is what is referenced. It allows a tile on the Start screen to launch into your RDP and has a list of prior sessions that you can use to reconnect.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

It's been in the last several versions. I was surprised to read installing a replacement was necessary, and relieved to find it isn't needed.