Microsoft introduces ‘Windows App’ for PC, Mac, mobile – It’s not what you think

The new Windows App gives you access to remote and cloud PCs from Windows 11, 10, macOS, mobile.

Windows App for remote and cloud PCs / Image: Microsoft
Windows App for remote and cloud PCs / Image: Microsoft
  • Microsoft brings its new Windows App to Windows 11, 10, macOS, iOS, and iPadOS.
  • It’s an app to access devices remotely from the different cloud Microsoft services, including desktops and laptops.
  • Windows App is currently limited to organizations with a school or work account.
  • It’s unclear if the app will arrive to regular consumers.

Microsoft is introducing a new application known as “Windows App.” It’s available as a preview for Windows 11, 10, macOS, iOS, iPadOS, and as a web app in the browser, but there’s no app for Android at the time of this writing.

The app isn’t completely new. It’s actually the “Windows 365 app,” which the company converted into a dashboard that users can access their Windows devices remotely from Azure Virtual Desktop, Windows 365 (Cloud PC), Microsoft Dev Box, Remote Desktop Services, and remote computers.

It’s worth noting that this is not a consumer app. It has been designed for organizations using one of the Microsoft cloud services since you will need a school or work account to download it. However, that app may likely one day arrive for consumers.

Since the Windows App is available on multiple platforms, you can use it from many devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, web browsers, and smartphones. However, the functionality will depend on the platform you’re using. For example, Remote Desktop Services and Remote PC are not available for the app on Windows or the browser.

The app offers a portal to access devices remotely from any available services and with several customization options. For example, you can pin your most frequent devices for quicker access and connect multiple accounts.

Microsoft Windows App preview UI / Image: Microsoft
Microsoft Windows App preview UI / Image: Microsoft

Some of the features include support for multiple monitors, custom display resolutions, dynamic resolutions and scaling, and Microsoft Teams optimizations. The app even offers “device redirection,” which allows you to connect devices (storage, printers, cameras, and audio) to the local computer to connect it to the remote desktop.

This is not the first app to connect to remote devices since you have been able to stream a device remotely for a long time with the Remote Desktop Connection (deprecated) and Remote Desktop apps. However, the new “Windows App” allows the company to bring remote access from all its services into one hub.

The only odd thing I see is the name because, at a glance, “Windows App” doesn’t reveal to me that the application has been designed to access devices remotely. However, it could be that Microsoft has bigger plans for this solution that bring the operating system closer to the cloud. On the other hand, the company is also known not to be great at marketing names or communicating.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].