Microsoft have just released version 6.0 of the Remote Desktop Connection client to the wider community! This version allows users to leverage some of the great new functionality introduced in Terminal Services under Vista, including:
- Network Level Authentication – a new authentication method that finishes user auth before you establish a full Remote Desktop Connection and the logon screen appears, reducing the number of resources before a full RDC connection is established. Also, NLA helps protect users from connecting to remote computers that are set up for malicious purposes.
- Server Authentication – verifies that you are connecting to the correct remote computer or server, prevents you from connecting to a different box than you intend and from unintentionally exposing confidential information. This feature is enabled by default.
- Resource Redirection – support for Plug and Play devices that allow redirection.
- Terminal Services Gateway (TS Gateway) Server Support – RDC uses port 3389 which is normally blocked by a firewall if you are attempting to initiate a connection from the internet. With TS Gateway Server, an internet based Remote Desktop connection is initiated over port 443 through a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) tunnel, negating the need for a costly VPN or corporate network to send and receive data over the remote connection.
- Monitor Spanning – support for high-resolution displays that can be spanned across multiple monitors, with a max resolution of 4,096 x 2,048. The monitors must have the same resolution. Additionally, the monitors must be aligned side-by-side.
- Visual Improvements – support for 32-bit colour and font smoothing.
My personal favourite is of course monitor spanning, but I’m sure that the TS Gateway functionality will be a serious sweetener for the corporate market.