This article describes the Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) 8.1 client update that lets you use the new Remote Desktop Services features. These features were introduced in Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2, and they are now available for computers that are running Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1).
New features for remote connections to Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2
The following new features in the RDC 8.1 client update are available when you establish a Remote Desktop Connection session to Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2.
Support for faster reconnection times
This update reduces the time that RDC 8.1 client takes to reconnect to a remote session compared to the time that is taken by the RDC 8.0 client and earlier versions of the client. The actual time that the client takes to reconnect depends on the network and deployment configuration.
Full support for transparent windows
Some applications such as Microsoft Office 2013 draw transparent windows or borders. RemoteApp programs that draw transparent windows or borders are now displayed the same as local applications.
Moves and resizes of RemoteApp windows
These operations are more responsive, and appear and behave like local applications. Specifically, the content in the application is displayed while the application is moved.
Thumbnails, aero peek, and live taskbar
These features work the same in a RemoteApp program as they work locally.
Dynamic monitor and resolution changes
After the update is installed, RemoteApp programs and desktop sessions behave like local programs when you add, remove, rotate, or change the resolution of the local client. For example, when you apply rotation, the width and height is changed accordingly on any RemoteApp programs, and the resolution of a desktop session is also adjusted.
Support for session shadowing
Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 let administrators use the session-shadowing feature on a session-based or virtual machine-based desktop or on a RemoteApp application. This is very useful for the support and troubleshooting of an end-user problem. By using RDC 8.1, administrators can now use the session-shadowing feature from the command line on Windows 7 SP1-based computers.
New features for remote connections to other versions of Windows
The following new features in the RDC 8.1 client update are available when the clients connect to all versions of Windows.
Remote Desktop Gateway pluggable authentication and authorization
Remote Desktop Gateway pluggable authentication and authorization (PAA) let you use custom authentication routines with Remote Desktop Gateway. Since RDC 8.1, the PAA cookie can be provided as an RDP file property in addition to the existing ActiveX API and Internet Explorer cookie-based methods. This can be used to provide custom two-factor authentication that works seamlessly with Remote Desktop Web Access (RD Web Access) across multiple browsers. This functionality lets you use RDP files to start connections.
Note This feature requires the Remote Desktop Gateway server to be running Windows Server 2008 R2 or a later version.
For more information about PAA, go to the following Microsoft website:
How to obtain this update
This update is available from Windows Update.
Microsoft Download Center
The following files are available for download from the Microsoft Download Center:
All supported x86-based versions of Windows 7
All supported x64-based versions of Windows 7
All supported x64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 R2
Important After the update is installed, install update 2913751 to fix a smartcard redirection issue. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
2913751 Smart card redirection in remote sessions fails in a Windows 7 SP1-based RDP 8.1 client For more information about how to download Microsoft support files, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
119591 How to obtain Microsoft support files from online services
Microsoft scanned this file for viruses. Microsoft used the most current virus-detection software that was available on the date that the file was posted. The file is stored on security-enhanced servers that help prevent any unauthorized changes to the file.
To apply this update, you must be running Windows 7 SP1. Additionally, the following updates must be installed:
Co-existence with the RDP 8.0 update
This update does not include Remote Desktop Protocol 8.1 server-side components for Windows 7 virtual desktops. In other words, this update includes only the new client. Therefore, the update applies only to computers that will be used as client computers. The RDP 8.0 update includes both the RDC 8.0 client and the RDP 8.0 server-side protocol components for Windows 7 SP1 virtual desktops. If you want to have both the RDP 8.0 server-side components and the RDC 8.1 client installed on the same computer, you must first install the RDP 8.0 update and then later install this update.
For more information about the Remote Desktop Protocol 8.0 update, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
2592687 Description of the Remote Desktop Protocol 8.0 update for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
To apply this update, you do not have to make any changes to the registry.
You may be prompted to restart the computer after you apply this update.
Update replacement information
This update does not replace a previously released update.
For more information about software update terminology, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
824684 Description of the standard terminology that is used to describe Microsoft software updates