Coming soon

I am happy to say that the week of July 30th we will be releasing a beta of our latest Remote Desktop Connection client (and it's a universal binary - I have seen a number of folks ask about that), along with Beta 2 of our file format converters. This update of our file format converters will include a significant Word refresh and the addition of PowerPoint (.pptx) support. Stay tuned for more details when the bits are posted in a couple weeks.

Comments (83)

  1. csolallo says:

    woo-hoo1!1 looking forward to the new version of RDC.

  2. JT says:

    2 Q’s:

    1. How can I take part in the beta test?

    2. Will Office 2008 be offered as part of MSDN?

  3. JT says:

    2 Q’s:

    1. How can I take part in the beta test?

    2. Will Office 2008 be offered as part of MSDN?

    Thanks in advance!

  4. SteveB_UK says:

    This is more like it!

    You know people (or I) won’t settle until they (I) hear a bit more about Messenger improvements….!

    Can you not at least give us a fair idea on when your going to update it and if there are going to be any significant improvements on it?  Do you have any developers specifically assigned to it?  Will it be a month, 2, 3, 6? next year?

    Keep it coming Craig!  Keep it coming!  I still think your being a bit shy and held back!

    btw do you think you will one day do a Remote Desktop Client that can connect to other Mac’s on my network?  or even a remote network?  If not do you think it would be feasible?  I think a lot of users would love MS for that…

  5. Sagi says:

    Nice… and thanks.

  6. sirus says:

    I’m waiting for that Beta and for the final release. I always use RDC over my little LAN because of I’m lazy and i don’t want to walk a bit. πŸ˜€

  7. Ric says:

    Any chance the new RDC client will work properly with non US Mac & Windows keyboard layouts?

    Currently, it’s very awkward getting ” characters for example. I typically resort to copy and paste from a crib sheet file I keep open.

  8. Gunnar says:

    UB RDP, really appreciate that!

    I hope it’s fast πŸ˜‰

  9. Harvey Dent says:

    What´s a Remote Desktop Client? Is it any good? Who should care? When is the new MSN Live Messenger coming? I love MS products for the mac except Office and Messenger, thank you Craig.

  10. James Arscott says:

    UB RDC Beta!!! best news so far today, it will make my job so much easier. i assume it will support multiple connections without having to use some hack like RDC Menu does?

    I am holding out for the news about new entourage features / beta next πŸ™‚

  11. Michael Pitt says:

    Excellent news!!!!!!!

    Hopefully it won’t be single instance anymore!!!

  12. SB says:

    What about an Excel convertor? That is the one I really need…

    Will the new RDC offer multiple logins this time?

  13. Mark Johnston says:

    CoRD ( is also a good substitute for RDC too. I am hoping that the new RDC is closer to functionality of Remote Desktops in Server 2003. I like the multiple saver connections/sessions in it.

  14. Ahhh…real information!

    Thanks….feel like we mac office users have been wandering the desert in search of water….finally had a quick drink.

    Of course, more Entourage info would REALLY help to quench our thirst!


  15. Gary says:

    This is encouraging news.  πŸ™‚  I already use the old version a lot on my Intel iMac and have no problem with it running under Rosetta.  Still – if it gets even zippier, then I won’t complain.  πŸ˜‰

    What I am really hoping comes with the new version has already been mentioned – (a) being able to handle multiple sessions in some intelligent manner and (b) handling the path separator character – ” – on my UK keyboard.

    RDC Menu helps, but it’s not an ideal solution.

  16. Adam S says:

    Yes! My wife and I have been anxiously awaiting a new release of RDC.  We’ve been using CoRD, which is great, but not nearly as fast.  I’m hoping to see this sooner rather than later!

  17. Leo says:

    Great NEWS!!!

  18. Adam says:

    when and what features does windows live messenger for mac 7

  19. nadyne says:

    SteveB_UK – If you want to connect to multiple Macs on your network, you should try Apple Remote Desktop.  There are some other less expensive solutions around, but I can’t speak to their usefulness/effectiveness/etc.  Personally, I use ARD all the time to connect to my various Macs (both at home and at work), but it’s a bit heavyweight (and expensive) if your needs aren’t very extensive.

    Harvey Dent – Remote Desktop Connection is an application for connecting from your Mac to a Windows box and work with the files and applications on that Windows computer.  You can learn more about the current version of it at the following URL:

  20. Over on Mac Mojo , the new boss has made an announcement near and dear to my heart. We announced at WWDC

  21. John Lockwood says:

    Mac to PC software like Microsoft RDC, Timbuktu, and also emulation products like Parallels and VirtualPC all fail identically to properly support non US keyboards.

    As mentioned above the most common and most annoying symptom is the inability to type the backslash symbol on a non US keyboard when a Mac is controlling Windows. The backslash is of course used all the time to enter file paths.

    BootCamp also initially suffered this problem but Apple DID fix it (unlike Netopia, Connectix, Microsoft, etc. etc. etc.). I reported this bug EIGHT YEARS AGO to Netopia (authors of Timbuktu and a couple of times since and they still have not fixed it.

    There is ONE program which does not have this problem (if one does not count BootCamp), which is VNC. VNC was originally designed in Cambridge England (not Cambridge Massachusetts) and as such by people who realise there is life outside the USA and that you will NOT fall of the edge of the world when you leave the USA. All the rest are written by Americans who obviously still believe the world is flat, except Apple who always have to think different :).

    Note: Apple Remote Desktop uses VNC to control a PC and hence it also works properly.

    I have zero confidence Microsoft will fix this issue in RDC but if they do then they will have gone a long way to improving their battered reputation in my books.

  22. That sounds great. Hopefully this new RDC will allow Vista connectivity and multiple connections without using different copies of the binary.

  23. Colin says:

    I’d like to second StevenB_UK’s comment on Messenger. Any news or improvements in the pipeline? Windows Live Messenger is miles infront of Messenger for Mac.

  24. Kurt Tappe says:

    Even more than RDC becoming universal I hope the new version fixes the bug in v1.0.3 where RDC doesn’t recognize the time zone of the server.  All of our 125 RDC users have to readjust their time zones at the start of every session or Outlook thinks they are in Greenwich.  Please tell me this bug is fixed?

  25. Many of you have asked about a revised version of the Mac Remote Desktop Connection client. The Mac team

  26. Many of you have asked about a revised version of the Mac Remote Desktop Connection client. The Mac team

  27. Chris says:

    Yay. Let me add myself to the group that would love multiple connections. I’ve tried CoRD and it just doesn’t cut it. Way too flaky (not that RDC is great these days).

    I can’t wait to replace RDC1-7 on my mac with a single Universal Binary RDC.

    Oh, and please make copy/paste more reliable. Especially for SQL Server results -> Mac office Excel.

    Thanks for the hard work.

  28. wasserja says:

    I’m glad to hear about this.  I’ve been using CoRD, but it doesn’t seem to want to work with Windows Vista.  RDC on my Mac hasn’t been behaving well the last couple of weeks either.

  29. Jon Smith says:

    About. Freakin. Time.  Unfortunately the MacBU seems to suffer from Microsoft’s well documented cases of major time lapses between releases.  I’ve been using CoRD instead and haven’t looked back RDC for months.

  30. Thanks for releasing a public beta and be sure to let us know how to send you feedback! And make it simple to send you feedback. Looking forward to playing with the software and seeing the new features.

  31. AS says:

    Thank you.

  32. Peter Walker says:

    I’m very happy with this announcement. RDC is an excellent product (and even better being free).

    Thank you Mac BU for keeping going with this.

  33. Don Atkins says:

    Please add smart card support to RDC as well.

  34. Anon says:

    Use CoRD instead, a wery well done OSX application….

  35. DAddYE says:

    When arrive a new version of MSN Messenger???

    Is not possible that a society like microsoft don’t upgrade their Messenger program for other OS


  36. Andre R says:

    Smart card support? And would you like some fries with that too?

    I’ll second the Messenger thing though. Keep up the good work.

  37. Ariadne says:

    I’m about to buy a Mac for the first time, and want to run Office on it.  Any vague clues as to when Office 2008 for Mac will ship in the UK? (Ie is it a waste of money to buy Office 2004 in the next few weeks?  Is there an option to upgrade from Offie 2004 when 2008 is released?


  38. TjL says:

    Will RDC support REAL resizing (not the crap "Well you can shrink the window but Windows will still be in the original size)?

  39. jack says:


    I have serious issues with the conflict of interest between Mac and Microsoft and maybe in one of your posts in either of your blogs you may want to address this. The issue is simple Microsoft is the ruler of the business tools and Mac is the king of the OS. So this means that for many of us you are the gatekeeper, the one in charge of letting us have the best of both worlds.

    We all know that entourage is a mediocre mail client for those of us that use it for business. It lacks full exchange integration, its not full featured, and has no way to add old pst.  Excel is also in the light side of the range, I am no rocket scientist and a couple of the financial models sent to me don’t work in mac Excel.  Basically the tools your BU has created in the past should be re-named Microsoft Office Light.

    Hope that this is not strategy coming down from the Parent Company, that has your hands tied, and I really hope you will help improve the quality and robustness of the product. If you will not be able to change things with the release of the next office please rename the versions. Office Home, Office Light+, Office Play and a little work. Don’t dare put the word Professional to refer to your product.

    Best regards,

    A frustrated Mac user, running parallels, XP, and MS office in his beautiful iMac.

  40. vszakats says:

    You can use RDC Menu to keep multiple sessions open without any extra tricks.

  41. ostiguy says:

    I don’t have too many complaints about the current RDC, but here they are:

    1. Poor detection of lack of network connectivity. If I break a vpn connection, the RDC session will not close anywhere as quickly as the Windows RDP client would. Often, in fact, I need to force quite RDC to open a session because…

    2. The one session at a time limit. I actually can work around this fairly well, until I need to force quit as seen in 1, and get angry.

  42. Jomy Muttathil says:

    Please distribute RDC in a .dmg file, .zip file or an installer pkg.

    Please do NOT use Stuffit!

  43. JT says:

    Will Office 2008 ship with MSDN?  Office 2004 is a key piece of software missing from the MSDN subscription.  What gives?

  44. DaveE says:

    UB is cool, but I’m really looking for Vista connection improvements.  I’ve only found 1 way to make it work and it’s that wide-open, let-anyone-connect method; that’s not a solution.

    Any more details on the release?

  45. Pessoal, no final deste mês deve ser disponibilizada a nova versão do RDC para Mac. Alívio para quem

  46. doughlaundry says:

    CoRD? Hey…thanks for the tip. That’s been the first USEFUL information I’ve had from this blog.

    If I were a wit, I’d say something like "oh, the irony".

    Meanwhile, our company is looking at Live Communication Server and they asked me to try out Messenger for the Macintosh client. Comments range from "ew… is THAT it?" to "it’s another Entourage!, tough luck". But then, these people have to use Windows all day so it’s swings and roundabouts.

    Actually, Messenger is not that bad because there’s not a lot in there, as far as I can see.  Maybe other posters can tell me?


    Er, I’m hoping there’s a way to browse a corporate contacts list though… hand typing contacts is verrr dull.

  47. rmeyer52 says:

    Thanks for the update on Office 2008.  I think we are all excited and want it now but I can also say that we would prefer the team to get it right with as few problems and more features as possible.  

    In an era of transparency telling us where you are is great but software has become more complicated with a lot more lines of code and as such can easily become a setback if released too early.

  48. TF says:

    I agree, .zip or .dmg would be a lot better than a format that requires Stuffit.  It has been a while since Mac OS shipped with Stuffit pre-installed.

    A .pkg based installer would be nice as well, for RDC, Office, the file converters, etc.

  49. BobR says:

    Holy sh*t! I am so excited I am going to wet myself. Its been only two years since Apple made developer machines and OS X Intel available to the MacBU and they have now announced that they *will be* producing an actual *beta* UB App. Since RDC is essentially a little homegrown Microsoft FUD wrapped in GUI on top a TCP/IP stack I can see why it took them so long. Congrats! While I go change my pants I’ll swing by my PC and check to see if I have any meeting requests since Exchange still blows for the Mac. Good to see those pressing issues at the MacBU have been worked on by top coders in the last two years.

    Did the real Office team print you out any certificates for shipping something, or will that wait till your first app actual ships out of beta? Man, those hard ass grownups (i.e. "Dad" right David!) can be real sticklers can’t they? Kudos for the excellent work!

  50. Gavin says:

    Love the blog, great idea, there is life in MacBU after all :-).

    Super to hear about RDC.  

    About Office 2008 please don’t make it look weird it should blend delightfully in with the rest of Mac applications.

    A importer for Outlook PST and Outlook Express is badly needed.

  51. Mikey says:

    Wow.  Tough crowd.

    While it would be nice for us to see a daily update of every programming change MS completed today and every feature they will add tomorrow, real businesses do not work that way.  Make your (well reasoned) point but cut these guys a little break.

  52. Richard Ashwell says:

    I know I mentioned this in the last thread but I saw several comments in this one regarding MacBU software getting into the MSDN Universal subscription.  I want to   second, or third, or nth the sentiment and ask again why is MacBU left out of this program.  Part of the transparency/testing of beta, and release candidates would I feel alleviate the apprehension somewhat that you are getting in this "improving" blog where people want more info on progress.

    No more secrets πŸ™‚  Actually keep some secrets but celebrate progress drop an alpha out there, you know the one you are probably running on your Mac book right now.  Sure there would be an OMG moment or too, maybe even some light screeming about feature x not appearing in entourage or something, but then as you answer the screams with comments on the plan to improve, you are in a dialog.   Is this the type of communication you are looking for or is this blog more of a status update type of thing?


  53. JoeBlow says:

    The newest (unreleased) version of Cord let’s you connect local drives and printers.  It has been working realiably for me for about a month – and I connect to bunch of 2003 servers as well as XP and 2k machines.

    Please, make sure you release a real **Beta** and not an Alpha called **Beta**, I hate it when companies do that.  

  54. Scott says:

    it’s about time. glad to see a new remote desktop client for an intel mac

  55. bcj says:

    For Vista RDC capable client today on OS X, check out requires X11 and use RDPv5 for protocol.


  56. Bryan O'Malley says:

    This is good news!

    Like most of the other comments above, I’ll chime in with a plead for multiple connections.  It’s very difficult to work without that feature.

    Looking forward to more Microsoft support of the Mac platform…

  57. Angus Fox says:

    Never mind MSDN, please put the Mac BU software in the Partner Action Pack. I want to be a Microsoft MAC partner! And why were you guys not at WPC. I looked.. and the three or four other partners I saw using MacBook Pros looked too….. (Its OK we have VMware fusion and Vista Unity. Its pretty decent – Outlook in a VM is faster than Entourage via Rosetta. Ouch).

  58. Sethro says:

    Please make sure that Microsoft Office 2008 for the Mac is released as  a public beta, I and many people that I know would kill for a chance to try out a pre-release version.

  59. Stephen Harbage says:

    Hi Craig, I just wanted to ask if you could please reply to rmk’s message from the last post:

    I have to admit, he is spot on about the compatibility issues and would seriously like to see a full reply to his post with some of the technical questions about quicktime for multimedia, excel cross linked graphs, references, mathematical equations etc and these things not showing up in the ‘compatibility checker’.

    PLEASE can you talk to the engineers in the retrospective programs about getting these fundamental problems fixed as a priority and apologise for the heart ache they cause and promise to make the next version of office fully 100% compatible no mater how many graphs, graphics or equations etc people use? Please Craig.

  60. outz says:

    counting down the days!

  61. john says:

    Where’s the Update guys?

  62. James Arscott says:

    please don’t make us wait until friday! πŸ™‚

  63. Daniel Bahl says:

    Uh! Guess what day is it today..

    UB RDP day πŸ™‚

    I have been waiting the hole day (GMT+2)

    I hope you guys release it before it’s bedtime for me πŸ™‚

  64. nadyne says:

    Just popping in to apologise for the delay in approving comments.  The guy who usually does this is on vacation.  We didn’t want to set the blog to auto-approve comments because of the amount of comment spam we get — at least 10 spam comments per day!  

  65. Jake says:

    A quick note of praise for actually allowing all the harsh comments we’ve had on this blog.

    It would be easy to just make this a one-way conversation, but you don’t.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to bash you some more for taking so bloody long to get Office 2008 out and not giving us any crumb of info on what we can expect.  πŸ˜‰

  66. Would love to see some support for Windows Home Server as well. RDC’ing into client computers with a Mac, requires rebooting into Windows to use IE7.

    (Windows Home Server allows you to RDC into all the systems in your home, but you have to be running IE7 and the ActiveX RDC client currently).

  67. outz says:

    remember guys… the ‘week of the 30th’ doesn’t mean the 30th.

  68. Jeff says:

    Here’s to hoping for Session Directory support in the Mac RDC…

  69. Jay Weiss says:

    Thanks for the updated RDC. I use RDC on my MacBook Pro and it is stable, but slower than I’d like. I have tried other solutions, but lets face it, I’d rather have a Microsoft application.

    Several things I hope are in the new version:

    1) Multiple Connections.

    2) Encryption (most of the time I’m not using a VPN).

    3) Selectable local volumes mapped as remote drives.

    4) Selectable local printers mapped to the remote system.

    Please keep up the good work.

    P.S. – how about a Mac version of Windows Media Player which supports DRM? (Flip4Mac sucks)

  70. SB says:

    Heh, I guess week of the 30th means August 3. Hopefully the format convertor will include Excel support…very much needed.

  71. James Arscott says:

    its out πŸ™‚ yey!

  72. Chris Mahoney says:

    Excellent. It’s a UA, it supports Vista and multiple sessions,  and has an "improved user experience" (whatever that means – I haven’t had a chance to download and see for myself yet). They state that it currently only works with US keyboards.

    I’m going to third? fourth? the request for Office 2008 on MSDN. The Windows version is on there, and Mac Virtual PC is too, but no Mac Office. Why not?

  73. It’s sad to see that I had to read the ‘news’ of new Microsoft Mac release somewhere else… shouldn’t be this blog a ‘fast lane’? πŸ™

  74. petieg says:

    What?  No console support? How are we supposed to support Win2k3 servers then πŸ˜‰  Looks pretty good, change the icon for god’s sake though!

  75. Adam says:

    I tried it out and it’s a mixed bag.

    One very nice feature is clipboard integration – harrah for that.

    One major oversight is not supporting multiple connections.  It’s as if one of the major criticisms of RDP on mac wasn’t even heard – boo!


  76. Dave Scott says:

    Well, downloaded it and tried it out. Seems ok, but multiple sessions — hmm — when I tried to launch app a second time / open a saved connection, got stuck in an endless loop of application locking up / sending a report to Microsoft. Had to force quit the "report sending app" to get out of this loop

    Reading more closely, seems like multiple sessions maybe to different machines, not multiple sessions to one machine. (Something that I need to do all the time)

    Am very heavy user of RDC / RDESKTOP .. so wil be "thrashing" RDC Beta today — am working from a remote office.

    Agree about CoRD – its nice, but somewhat slower (though the screen scaling is a very nice option) and a tad flakely. RDESKTOP is very nice, mulitple conenctions etc — just no scrolling

  77. Mac Mojo says:

    RDC v2 beta is here!

  78. Today's the day! As Craig (our fearless leader) announced a couple of weeks ago, we have now made

  79. Richard Walker says:

    The beta seems much better overall, however I have two complaints:

    1) on my UK keyboard, it it still impossible to get a backslash, and some of the keymappings are incorrect (e.g. #)

    3) the beta comes as a package which uses Apple’s Installer.  Why?  the old RDP client came as a bundle which was a proper Mac-style drag-and-drop install!

  80. Greetings from the Macintosh Business Unit at Microsoft! We appreciate the interest many of you have

  81. Paul says:

    I’m glad to see the new version.  As a person who’s reported bugs in the 1.0.3 client (confirmed by both MS and Apple devs via my Higher-Ed volume sales reps) and 10.4.x for printing, I’m glad to see this problem appears to be fixed.  I’ll have to do more detailed testing on the exact combination that always caused problems before to see if I can duplicate it in this.

    As for CoRD, I’ve been using that in the place of the RDP103 client.  I’ve hesitated from using RDesktop (which I’ve succesfully compiled and installed on many systems before stumbling across CoRD), precisely because of the entire X-Windows requirement.  As beta as CoRD might be, it seems to work quite nicely for the most part.  I suspect this new Mac RDP client will work just as well.  I haven’t yet deployed either to the general user population, but have limited their use to tech personnel with Macs who have need of connecting to our various 2003TS systems.

    Yes, there are features still missing, as compared to the current RDP client on XP.  And yes, it’s still missing features when connecting to a 2008 system as compared to Vista.  But frankly, I much would rather opt for a stable, solid, reliable, production quality 1.0.4, than a feature-filled buggy v2.  We’ve all complained endlessly about features and bloat, and if I had to choose between more features (some useful, some not) and just plain rock solid limited featured, I’d opt for the latter.

    Yes, the features mentioned above such as multiple connections (in a nice way – not multiple .RDP files), and seamless windows, and TS-SSL/VPN are all useful.  I don’t think anyone would call those features useless or bloat.  But even at the risk/cost of letting these features go (or be delayed until v2.1), I’d love to see v2 of this client be rock solid stable, updated frequently (as needed), and go from there.  Rather than trying to come out with a full-featured perfected everyone-happy client, take baby steps, and have each step be good, reliable, and worthy of your team’s reputation, the MacOSX ease of use, and usefulness and responsiveness of MS to the Mac world.

    Thank you for writing the v2 client.  I look forward to its production solid stable status, and will be deploying it once it reaches that state and tested with known problematic configurations.

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