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


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...