Microsoft Remote Desktop offers the essential remote connectivity you need to access your home or work computer, allowing you to open files or apps on Windows Professional and Windows Server editions. While the initial setup is more or less straightforward and the scaling of the computer resolution to match that of your device usually works, the overall usability of the app needs to be improved.
Delivers on its promise: If you follow the tutorial available through the Help section in Settings, Microsoft Remote Desktop will establish a secure, stable, and reliable remote connection that enables you to manage your computer effectively and even work remotely. During our tests we hadn't experienced any major timeouts, errors, or other connectivity issues.
Resolution adjustment: To fix the discrepancy between the different resolutions used by your device and your computer, the app adjusts your computer's display to your device's resolution, which is just perfect for tablets. It doesn't work for smartphones with their smaller screens, though.
Good multitouch experience: The swiping and taping for simulating a mouse and the onscreen keyboard are both responsive, as is the switching between these through the top of the screen toolbar. You can also swipe to scroll.
Poor usability: Despite the responsive controls, zooming in and out feels so clumsy at times that you're tempted to quit the app.
Streaming could be improved: You may get away with listening to MP3s, but the moment you try to play an HD movie you have to put up with slow buffering and stuttering.
Overall user experience depends on your device's screen: If you don't have a >7-inch screen, the need to zoom in and out constantly and tap to navigate your way around the screen will be annoying, to say the least. An option for changing the computer resolution could fix this.
While far from perfect, Microsoft Remote Desktop proves usable, especially on a large-screen tablet. If you want to use it on a smartphone, though, the eyestrain and frustration of having to zoom in and out all the time makes it a poor choice.