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Microsoft Remote Desktop Services OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Microsoft Remote Desktop Services is #2 ranked solution in top Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) tools and #4 ranked solution in top Remote Access tools. PeerSpot users give Microsoft Remote Desktop Services an average rating of 8 out of 10. Microsoft Remote Desktop Services is most commonly compared to TeamViewer: Microsoft Remote Desktop Services vs TeamViewer. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a comms service provider, accounting for 24% of all views.
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 was previously known as Remote Desktop Services, MS Remote Desktop Services.

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Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Customers
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Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Video

Microsoft Remote Desktop Services 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 Reviews

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    Microsoft UC Solutions Manager at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Good remote application access that can be allowed on a per-user or per-group basis
    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 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.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is the remote application access. You can update applications and assign them to different groups of users. For example, one user might require Microsoft Visio, whereas another user does not require it. Access can be granted by segmenting users into different groups.

    What needs improvement?

    There are problems with using Microsoft Teams within a virtual desktop on a mobile device. Specifically, if you are using Teams and conferencing, then there is no microphone capability. To be clear, if you install Teams directly on your mobile device then it will work. However, if you use it as an application within the virtual desktop that is running on the mobile device, it does not work. This is something that needs to be fixed.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been working with RDS for about three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Generally, this solution is stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability-wise, it is very good. There is auto-scaling, so if there are more users required then Azure will help you to automatically manage it. In addition, it is HA, so I think that the overall scalability is pretty good.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I have not been in contact with technical support. There is a good community of people who write about Microsoft solutions in blogs, which is helpful.

    How was the initial setup?

    Setting up the basic service is quite simple. It's more of managing your Windows image, such as a Windows 10 image, which probably requires some expertise. It is very fast to deploy and you can have everything ready within a day.

    What about the implementation team?

    The setup is quite clear and you don't need a team to do it. All of the instructions are available on the internet and because it's a Microsoft solution, there are many blogs available with the steps for you to follow.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    It will probably cost about $500 USD to get the resources set up in the cloud.

    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 device may not be the best choice.

    I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Hybrid Cloud
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
    Senior Software Analyst at a university with 201-500 employees
    Real User
    Great screen draw feature; option of using two monitors is very useful
    Pros and Cons
    • "Good screen draw feature and ability to use two monitors."
    • "Lacks a notification feature when internet is down."

    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. 

    How has it helped my organization?

    Because of Covid, the solution has given those stuck at home the ability to continue working.

    What is most valuable?

    I think the price of this product is great. The solution allows me the option of using two monitors. I like the screen draw in Remote Desktop, it's better than GoToMyPC, which I've used previously although the improvement could also be related to a better internet connection over the past six months. 

    What needs improvement?

    It would be helpful if there was a feature that notifies you when the internet is down so you're not working for nothing, it should be something that pops right up where you can see it. The internet is always going to go down and the product seems to notice that it's down before my VPN notifies me that it's gone down. You're working and nothing's happening and it takes time to get the notification. 

    For an additional feature, I'd like to see Remote Desktop specify which computer Zoom meetings will run on. I've joined a couple of sessions from home, and when I turn on my video, all you see is my empty desk chair at the office.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using this solution for six months. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is stable. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability is not really relevant but the solution is used by a fair number of the IT staff. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I've never needed to use technical support. 

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I previously used GoToMyPC because I used to do upgrades from home at night. We were paying for that solution which wasn't necessary with the free Microsoft option. I used both of them for a short time and realized Remote Desktop really seemed to draw the screen better and also everybody else was using it. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is straightforward. You've got to have the IP address of the computer you're connecting to - in our organization it's managed by our network manager.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would recommend this solution. 

    I rate this product an eight out of 10. 

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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    Jim Graue
    Support Technician at a non-profit with 1-10 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Offers a very secure network by enabling restriction of user numbers and accessibility when required
    Pros and Cons
    • "The solution now includes a multi-screen feature which is great."
    • "Sometimes difficult to set up without the requirement for login credentials each time."

    What is our primary use case?

    We predominantly use RDS to connect up to a computer and a LAN. We are non-profit and help other non-profits with their technology. We are customers of Microsoft. 

    What is most valuable?

    This is a user-friendly solution and I'm very pleased that RDS now includes multi-screen. If you're remotely controlling a system that has two monitors, you can split and have your own, it's a nice feature. I like the ubiquity of the product, the fact that it's around as a protocol, and that it can be utilized at the admin level to look at any console that one might need. You don't need to think about it very much. Of course, the fact that it uses an active directory for security and authentication is pretty nice. It helps secure a network to a large extent because you can really restrict the number of users and accessibility if needed. Those are all good things.

    What needs improvement?

    I've sometimes had trouble setting up an RDS connection if I want a specific user to be able to log in with their credentials and have the RDS element retain those settings so that the password isn't required each time. There can be issues with that. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using this solution for many, many years. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I've got no issues with the stability of RDS. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I don't have much to offer regarding scalability. We use RDS predominantly for admin connection to other servers in a network. I might log into one computer in a remote network and then use RDS to get from that server to a different server but that's as far as it goes.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is relatively straightforward, especially if you're familiar with the solution. Most organizations we deal with have a technician, or at least a network administrator who deals with any day-to-day issues. We generally maintain the operating system for these organizations and we run updates on them all the time.

    What other advice do I have?

    There's nothing to be afraid of with this solution. I don't have any problems with it, it's great for me. 

    I rate this solution 10 out of 10. 

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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    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
    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 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.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable features are the desktop session and desktop virtualization.

    What needs improvement?

    My customers are worried that the RDP protocol can be easily compromised and would like the option to use an alternative like Blast. The details of RDP are available to everyone and it has been used in industry for many years, so people know what points are vulnerable. If there were a patented protocol available as an option then people would be happy because they will be more assured of the security. Tweaking this would be really good in terms of security.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been working with Microsoft Remote Desktop Services for between five and six years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Microsoft RDS is reliable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is really easy to scale-up or scale-out. Just add one, two, or three cells and it works. It's really straightforward.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I have never been in contact with Microsoft technical support.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is pretty straightforward and I haven't had any issues in the past three years.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The solution has a perpetual license and it is purchased upfront.

    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.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Implementer
    Technical Manager at a manufacturing company with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Very user friendly, has smooth connectivity and works with a low bandwidth
    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 is our primary use case?

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

    What is most valuable?

    The solution has very smooth connectivity and is a very user friendly product. An additional advantage is that it works with very low bandwidth. 

    What needs improvement?

    We've had a few occasions when the application has crashed suddenly, possibly due to updates. Microsoft updates should not directly impact the application and rather than releasing post hotfixes, it would be better to carry out testing before releasing it to the environment. It's a challenge for us; the new application is upgraded, but there's an incompatibility. It should be the other way around - testing in the lab environment and then commercially released.

    An additional feature we'd like to see would be cross-platform support. With more OSs in the market whether Microsoft, iMac or Android applications, it would be good to have a smooth transition between cross-platform support both in terms of operating system and in terms of devices. Moving from tabs to mobiles to desktops to laptops to notebooks - the transition between multiple OSs and multiple hardwares.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using this solution for the last five years. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is stable. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The product is scalable, we have over 500 users. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The quality of the technical support is quite good although it's often dependent on the quality of the Microsoft partner. If the partner is good, then support is good but if not, there can be issues. 

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The pricing in comparison to similar products is quite good.

    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. 

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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    Joe Appelgryn
    Implementation Engineer at Border Business Systems
    Real User
    Top 20
    Easy to set up, performs well, and saves us money on hardware costs
    Pros and Cons
    • "The most valuable feature is performance."
    • "It could be made simpler from a management perspective."

    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.

    How has it helped my organization?

    This solution saves us time and money because running applications directly on the server means that we can use lower-priced, entry-level computers for the users.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is performance. We run all of our applications on the server and access them using this product, which is must faster than upgrading all of the desktops.

    What needs improvement?

    It could be made simpler from a management perspective.

    It should be easier to set it up for desktop printing.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using Microsoft Remote Desktop Services for about five years. When we started using this product, it was called Terminal Services.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    This product is quite stable and we have never had any problems with it.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Given our usage, we have not had to deal with scaling this product.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I've worked with VMware Horizon and Citrix before.

    VMware Horizon is easier to manage, although the Microsoft product is easier to install than other solutions.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is relatively easy. In that regard, Microsoft is easier to install than the VMware ones that I've worked with, as well as Citrix.

    What about the implementation team?

    We set everything up ourselves and I haven't had the need to consult anybody else for technical support.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The pricing could always be improved.

    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.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
    Flag as inappropriate
    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
    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 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.

    What is most valuable?

    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.

    What needs improvement?

    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.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution for eight years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is very reliable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is very scalable. At the moment, we have around 2,000 users.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We have a Premier support contract, and it works great.

    How was the initial setup?

    Its initial setup was straightforward. Because of COVID-19, we had to deploy workspaces for our users. It was fairly simple to deploy our RDS farm so that our users could work safely from home.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    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.

    What other advice do I have?

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

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Process Control and Automation Engineer - PCD Administrator at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 5
    Stable and easy to use product, could be made simple from the perspective of the end user
    Pros and Cons
    • "The technical support is good."
    • "From the perspective of an IT professional, Microsoft Remote Desktop is very easy to use. However, it could be made easier to use for the end user, especially when it comes to activating it."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use Microsoft Remote Desktop if we want, for example, to help a user that has a problem. We can also use it to take the control of a computer on a remote location.

    What is most valuable?

    The simplicity of the product has been most valuable to me. This is especially true if you use a Microsoft product to connect to Microsoft Remote Desktop. There is no broker in between. Microsoft Remote Desktop is something that comes with Windows at no cost unless you use a Microsoft server.

    For me, it boils down to simplicity. There is no cost and the setup is easy. 

    What needs improvement?

    From the perspective of an IT professional, Microsoft Remote Desktop is very easy to use. However, it could be made easier to use for the end user, especially when it comes to activating it.

    Microsoft could also improve the sustainability of this product, especially in terms of account redundancy. They could also add something like a log to make more easy to use so that they can easily prevent some of the failures. I think Microsoft can do better.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using Microsoft servers for more than 20 years. My first Microsoft server was NT 3.5.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Microsoft Remote Desktop is quite stable product now, particularly if you compare it to previous version.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Microsoft Remote Desktop is scalable. 

    How are customer service and support?

    The technical support is good. I have had some issues with them, but most of time the technical support is good. Phone support is difficult for me to use but the Microsoft Knowledge Base has been helpful. It is easy to find solutions to problems in the knowledge base. You can also get email support, which is useful. 

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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