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How Can I Remote Desktop from My Windows Phone?
One of the main perceived weaknesses of Windows Phone 7 from the point of view of business users was the lack of RDP functionality. Without being able to remote connect to a desktop or server OS from the device, Windows Phone 7 would offer little to IT departments, contractors and consultants and be viewed as an expensive or unnecessary alternative to Windows Mobile 6.x, which features various RDP applications.
Over time, however, various remote desktop apps for Windows Phone 7 have been released to aid with the remote management of your desktop or server. Some of these are easy to use but lack functionality, while others are very functional but costly. One such app is Remote Desktop, which is available from the Marketplace for £11.49 (UK price) with a limited trial feature which can be used to test the system.
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Setting Up Your PC
In order to use Remote Desktop you will require two software components - the app for your phone and the desktop server software, which is built around VNC.
To get the server software, head to the developer's website at www.thefastmarket.com and find WP7 Remote Desktop Server v1.3.0. The 1.4 MB download shouldn't take too long; double click this to install on your Windows PC (Linux and Mac OS X versions are not yet available) and follow the installation defaults. The server application will require you to install the latest version of Microsoft .NET Framework, so if required you will need to download and install this before running the server software.
Once everything is installed, the WP7 Remote Desktop Server should start running automatically - if not, double click the icon on your desktop.
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Configuring Your WP7 Remote Desktop Server
With the server software installed, you will need to perform a bit of configuration. With WP7 Remote Desktop Server running, your desktop firewall utility should be alerting you to the new software and its attempts to create network connections; agree to all such requests from software called VNC. Once this has been done, you will be ready to connect to your PC.
On your Windows Phone 7, visit the Marketplace, tap Search and enter remote as your search term. One of the main options will be Remote Desktop, which you should select to Try or Buy. Once your chosen transaction is completed and the software has installed, run it from the Programs menu on your phone.
Tap New, and under Connect to your computer enter the IP address displayed on the Status tab of the desktop server software. Beneath this, enter the password (which by default is "default") and then tap Connect.
After a few moments of authentication, your Windows desktop PC display should appear on your Windows Phone 7 handset!
Note: Problems connecting can be resolved by stopping and starting the WP7 Remote Desktop service from the Status tab, as well as setting up port forwarding to port 5600 on your router if you use one.
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Using the Windows Phone Remote Desktop App
Some standard tools are provided - if you need to use the mouse simply move your finger around the display, using the Left click and Right click buttons on the right-side menu. Meanwhile you can also access the Keyboard or Scroll through a window.
By dragging the ellipses [...] displayed on this menu you can also send a CTRL+ALT+DEL command to your PC, as well as visit the Marketplace to buy the app if you have chosen the trial version.
This powerful Windows Phone remote desktop app is a very useful utility that can be used to remotely access PCs, servers and other Windows-based hardware.
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All screenshots and references from WP7 Remote Desktop Server.