Microsoft Remote Desktop Services OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Microsoft Remote Desktop Services is the #2 ranked solution in our list of top Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) tools. It is most often compared to VMware Horizon View: Microsoft Remote Desktop Services vs VMware Horizon View

What is Microsoft Remote Desktop Services?
Remote Desktop Services is a server role in Windows Server that provides technologies that enable users to access session-based desktops, virtual machine-based desktops, or applications in the data center from both within a corporate network and from the Internet. Remote Desktop Services enables a rich-fidelity desktop or application experience, and helps to securely connect remote users from managed or unmanaged devices.

Microsoft Remote Desktop Services is also known as Remote Desktop Services, MS Remote Desktop Services.

Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Buyer's Guide

Download the Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021

Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Customers
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Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Microsoft Remote Desktop Services pricing:
  • "It will probably cost about $500 USD to get the resources set up in the cloud."
  • "The solution has a perpetual license and it is purchased upfront."
  • "The pricing could always be improved."
  • "Its licensing is on a yearly basis. We're on the educational or academic license, and our terms are good. We're very happy with the pricing."

Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Software Reviews

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RK
Product Owner IT Services at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
It's predictable but they need to develop better support for remote desktops for alternative platforms

What is our primary use case?

We use Remote Desktop Services for a few things. My experience started with Microsoft Remote Desktop when I tried to reuse really low power desktop machines to turn them from these desktop machines into class remote desktop terminals. That is my initial experience with Microsoft Remote Desktop. My most current experience with Microsoft Remote Desktop is using a specific Microsoft product on the servers where you don't have any chance to administer them using the web browser. SCCM, active directory administration and other Wintel server roles are most handy and the most secure to administer… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "I like that it works. In most cases, it's predictable. You know what you get."
  • "Microsoft still has some really bad remote desktop appliance for Mac."

What other advice do I have?

I would not recommend going with this solution because I wouldn't recommend going for a big enterprise setup. I would rate it a four out of ten. In the next release, they should develop better support for remote desktops for alternative platforms. It's really lacking consistency. If I have to support terminal server clusters and I have to do change management on the big cluster, then I actually run into a lot of issues both on the Microsoft Remote Desktop as well as Citrix. They should provide a consistent user experience. It's a pain to roll out changes into a different mode of the cluster…
SP
Information Systems Consultant at a aerospace/defense firm with 201-500 employees
Consultant
Reliable, easy to use, and easy to integrate with a security framework

What is our primary use case?

The primary use case of this solution is to improve mobility and to access current sessions from different locations.

Pros and Cons

  • "It's almost an out of the box function once you have installed the other components."
  • "In the next release, I would like to see better performance over slower networks, and integration with Linux, but this is something that we're going to get out of Microsoft in terms of a unified solution."

What other advice do I have?

It's a good solution, and especially if you already have Microsoft running then it's probably one of the better solutions to choose from. I am not sure whether it's the best future cross-platform solution when we are running multiple workstation environments with different platforms. I am really happy with Microsoft Remote Desktop Services in our current environment. We have no issues at the moment. I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.
Learn what your peers think about Microsoft Remote Desktop Services. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2021.
534,468 professionals have used our research since 2012.
BH
Microsoft UC Solutions Manager at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Good remote application access that can be allowed on a per-user or per-group basis

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution integrator and Microsoft Remote Desktop Services is one of the products that we have been implementing for our clients. This software provides a Windows 10 desktop on a virtual machine. It's a multi-session VDI solution that allows people to work from home. It allows users to access company resources and applications, which is important because we don't want them using their personal home networks to access corporate devices. This helps prevent problems such as the introduction of a computer virus from home to office.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the remote application access."
  • "There are problems with using Microsoft Teams within a virtual desktop on a mobile device."

What other advice do I have?

My advice to anybody who is implementing this solution is to first ensure that the network is set up properly. The applications need to be set up properly because if the applications are being used on-premises, but the virtual machines are stored in the cloud, then you will incur additional charges for accessing them. This is a good solution, although it is still new compared to some other remote desktop services that have been out there for a very long time. It still has room for improvement such as accessing the microphone for Android remote access. Because of this, using it on an Android…
PG
Senior Software Analyst at a university with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 20
Great screen draw feature; option of using two monitors is very useful

What is our primary use case?

When I'm in the office I use the solution to connect to another server to look at files or services that are running, things like that. When working from home I use it to connect to our VPN and then to my work computer and pretty much do everything that way. I'm a senior software analyst at an educational institution and I believe we have a partnership with Microsoft.

Pros and Cons

  • "Good screen draw feature and ability to use two monitors."
  • "Lacks a notification feature when internet is down."

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution. I rate this product an eight out of 10.
Geeth Shammika
System Engineer at KBSL Information Technologies
Real User
Top 20
Easy to set up, quick to deploy, and the desktop virtualization is good

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and this is a product that we implement for our customers. We use Microsoft RDS in conjunction with VMware for desktop virtualization.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features are the desktop session and desktop virtualization."
  • "My customers are worried that the RDP protocol can be easily compromised and would like the option to use an alternative like Blast."

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is considering this solution is that it is really easy to set up and it can be deployed in an urgent manner, depending on the environment. If you need remote access and do not have the expertise, yet it is an emergency situation, then this could be a great product. If you're looking for a good end-user experience and you're concerned about all of the features, then Microsoft does not have all that VMware does. It can do almost everything, but there are some features that it does not support. I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.
DK
Technical Manager at a manufacturing company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Very user friendly, has smooth connectivity and works with a low bandwidth

What is our primary use case?

I'm a technical manager and we are customers of Microsoft.

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution has very smooth connectivity and is very user friendly."
  • "Updates sometimes impact the application and we have system crashes."

What other advice do I have?

I would suggest a UAT test on a smaller group or pilot deployment. Once you do a test run on the pilot deployment, then it should be rolled out for a larger base of users. In terms of overall experience, I rate the solution eight out of 10.
Joe Appelgryn
Implementation Engineer at Border Business Systems
Real User
Top 10
Easy to set up, performs well, and saves us money on hardware costs

What is our primary use case?

We are using Microsoft Remote Desktop Services for small-scale virtual desktop applications. It is utilized for normal desktop usage.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is performance."
  • "It could be made simpler from a management perspective."

What other advice do I have?

Overall, this product works well, it is fine for the purpose that we use it, and I recommend it. I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.
SS
ICT Infrastructure Specialist at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Very reliable and scalable, good pricing, and supports HTML5 web client

What is our primary use case?

Our use case is two-fold. We use it for securing workplaces in our on-premise environment for remote users. We also use it for management. We manage most of our environments from a secure remote desktop in our data center. We connect through a remote desktop gateway with a two-factor application installed there.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature of this solution at the moment is the HTML5 web client. You get a browser experience, not just the terminal sort of client, and the integration with Azure multi-factor application."
  • "Its look and feel could be updated. In Azure Remote Desktop Services (RDS), which is a VDI solution, we would like to see linked clones. It is a Hyper-V solution, and it doesn't support linked clones and uses a lot of storage. That's why we don't use it. VMware has a similar solution that supports linked clones for the master image."

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution. I would rate Microsoft Remote Desktop Services an eight out of ten.
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Buyer's Guide
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