How To Run Win32 Applications On Windows RT

I have to admit that after using the Surface with Windows RT for a few months there have been times when I’ve needed to use a traditional Win32 application like VS2012 or SQL Server. As you probably know, Windows RT doesn’t allow you to install traditional Win32 applications, but that shouldn’t stop you.

To run Win32 applications on Windows RT you need two things. The first is a network connected Windows PC. The second is the Remote Desktop app from the Windows Store.

The Remote Desktop app lets you connect to multiple PCs in a chrome-less (it is a Windows Store app after all) environment.

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With a good network connection I hardly ever realize that I’m not sitting on my desktop. The App Bar lets you easily jump from one session to another (as show above), and there are a host of settings you can change.

I recommend using it with the Type Cover but in a bind I’ve managed to navigate the Windows 2003 server my startup is sitting on using touch when I was in South America.

You’ll have to open up a port and allow RDP connections on your x86/x64 PC but in doing so you’ll be able to access your Win32 applications from anywhere. As long as you don’t need offline access you can hopefully save the $899 the Surface Pro costs that’s going to  be released in a few weeks.

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