Sunday, September 24, 2006

Terminal Services Client v6 - RC1

Microsoft released v6 of the RDP client just the other day.

It looks a bit different than the former versions:

But it's not just the icon and some colors that has changed - let's take look at some changes... First of all the RC1 version is called 6.0.5600.16384 - to some extend indicating that this is from Vista build 5600 (=Vista RC1).

The first cool thing I notices was, that this version is installed like any other update to the OS - not like a separate application as it used to. This provides us with a new MSTSC.EXE file - so when launching the executable (without a path) we get the latest version (earlier it didn't replace the builtin version of MSTSC (v. 5.1.2600.2180) - I'll get back to this in a moment) - also it doesn't force an installation into "Accessories" either, both "features" that made some of us kinda frustrated).

I usually start the RDP client from a command prompt with some switches "MSTSC /v 192.168.170.100 /console" for instance brings me to the active session (console) of 192.168.170.100. Now this finally works without mistakenly launching an old version of the client (namely the builtin version placed in the Windows folders with a system environment path to it) - earlier version "upgrades" of the RDP client (like version 5.2.3790.1830 from the Windows Server 2003 R2 CD I believe) placed itself in "%programfiles%\remote desktop" instead of replacing the MSTSC.EXE file in the "%windir%\system32" folder). Well, now this works - great job!

Lets take a quick look at some differences between the versions:

This is version 5.1.2600.2180 (notice that there is no Security or Advanced tab):

This is version 5.2.3790.1830 (notice we now got a Security tab):

This is version 6.0.5600.16384 RC1 (now the Security tab is gone and the Advanced tab is introduced):

So what is the difference then? Well, the first 5 tabs - General, Display, Local Resources, Programs and Experience haven't changed since the builtin release... The Security tab (which might have been there in versions in between, I'm not sure) in version 5.2.3790.1830 brings us authentication of the remote system - see more detailed info right here! The tab looked like this:

Well, in the RDP v6 RC1 version the tab was renamed to Advanced and it now looks like this:

The top part is like the Security tab - but now we also have the "Connect from anywhere" section where we can configure Terminal Services Gateway settings.

Where can I get it? It's currently available on http://connect.microsoft.com for Vista/Longhorn BETA testers.

Enjoy :)

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