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Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Client for Snow Leopard

Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection Client is a free utility which allows you to connect to Windows computers running Windows from computers running Mac OS X (versions 10.4.9 or later).

For those of us who help manage Windows computers, it's a handy tool to have around, much like Screen Sharing (or Apple Remote Desktop) for connecting from one Mac to another. Fortunately I don't have to use it all that often, but last night when I tried it for the first time in a while, it crashed. I relaunched it, and it crashed again. Since I'm a slow learner, I tried it one last time. Yup, crashed a third time.

Assuming this wasn't some Halloween prank, I wondered if maybe I had an outdated version of the app, since I hadn't used it since Snow Leopard came out. I took a quick look around and found that version 2.0.1 had been released in mid-August. I downloaded the new version, ran the installer (I'm not sure why it needs an installer for what seems like a self-contained application, but it does) and the app launched as expected.

The release notes don't say much about what is new in this version, and I didn't notice any new features (other than not crashing on Snow Leopard, which is a significant plus). If you ever need to connect to computers running Windows, this 7.8MB download is a good addition to your toolbox.

Not all versions of Microsoft Windows support Remote Desktop Connections. For example, Windows XP "Professional" does, but the "Home" does not. Also, even for those versions of Windows which do support it, it is not enabled by default. If your version does not support it, you will need to find a VNC application which has a Windows 'server' and a Mac 'client'.

[If you prefer an open-source alternative to the Microsoft client, check out the versatile and free CoRD. --Ed.]

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