As promised, Microsoft has released its official Remote Desktop app for Android and iOS to coincide with the launch of Windows 8.1. The app is free to download and use, and just like the many third-party remote desktop clients, it allows you to access your Windows PC remotely from your smartphone or tablet.
The official Remote Desktop app uses the same Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) that Microsoft has long used inside its Remote Desktop apps for Windows and OS X, and it’s are compatible with all PCs that have Remote Desktop functionality enabled — so this isn’t an effort to sell more copies of Windows 8.1.
The app won’t automatically detect your PC on your network, though — like some third-party clients do — so you’ll need to enter the IP address of the system you wish to connect to manually. Functionality is pretty basic, but what Microsoft has included should be enough for most users who simply need access to their PC while they’re away from it.