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Handheld PC Remote Desktop Client (Terminal Server Client) 4.0


Applies To

  • Handheld PC Professional, SP1
  • Handheld PC 2000


Remote Desktop (Formerly Terminal Services) provides a framework for remote users to connect to and operate Microsoft Windows Operating Systems from an array of device and platforms. The Handheld PC Terminal Server Client is available for Handheld PC Professional and above and is discussed in this article.

More Info

With the 2001 release of Windows XP, the Microsoft Terminal Server service became known as the Remote Desktop Service. References made by Microsoft to the Terminal Server systems originally used to describe the Windows CE Terminal Server Client are now holy referred to as the Remote Desktop Protocol or RDP service.

Remote Desktop services are based around the International Telecommunications Union (IUT) T.120 protocol. The RDP protocol allows a client, theoretically under any platform. To connect to, operate and even make use of remote resources on Microsoft Windows based systems. The Microsoft Windows CE RDP client supports both current implementations of its RDP Protocol.

Remote Desktop Protocol 4.0:

  • Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server Edition

Remote Desktop Protocol 5.0:

  • Windows 2000 Server
  • Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Windows 2000 Data Centre Server
  • Windows XP Professional
  • Windows XP Media Centre Edition 2003
  • Windows Server 2003 Standard
  • Windows Server 2003 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2003 Data Centre

You can use the Handheld PC client to connect to any of the above operating systems over a remote or local connection including VPN (but not through the cradle). Over any TCP/IP v4 or v6 network.


TS Client About BoxSecurity is provided via Server side configuration and through the encryption of the data stream to and from the Client and Server. Under the H/PC client the encryption is limited to a maximum of 56-bit under H/PC Professional and HPC2000. Microsoft has not provided a 128-bit upgrade for these platforms. The Windows CE 4.x .net RDP Client natively supports encryption up to 128-bit.
User validation is provided via NTLM user accounts or via Active Directory Terminal Server groups on the server side. In an Active Directory environment the client is able ascertain and specify the default domain that it is to log onto.


RDP is a multi-channel protocol which separates out various aspects of the stream. Sensitive information such as keyboard and cursor input is separated from the presentational data (Screen view) and again from device data such as streams from serial ports.
The RDP Protocol under Windows CE allows for a limited subset of the device data streams available under mainstream Windows platforms. Users are able to print to a compatible locally connected printer directly from the remote RDP session.

The H/PC Pro and HPC2000 client limits the "Presentation" stream to the 8-bit Windows colour pallet (256 colours). This improves the speed of the image rendering on H/PC devices, notably on older H/PC Pro devices. The Windows CE 4.x Net client provides more customisation, with support up to 24-bit colour (16 million colours).
The client is also able to compress the RDP stream to aid performance on slow connections to the server - such as on dial-up. While compression aids connection performance, it comes with a processor overhead that will reduce over all system speed when operating outside of the RDP session.


The main interface for the Windows CE RDP client is greatly simplified over its Windows counterpart. There are limited configuration options available from the client except to specify whether you are connecting over a low bandwidth connection.

TS Client Main

Enabling the "Low Speed Connection" option will compress the data stream to and from the RDP Server.

Simply type the NetBIOS Name, Domain name or IP address of the computer you wish to connect to in the Server text box and tap connect. If you have successfully contacted the server in a previous session the URL will be displayed in the Recent servers list. You can double tap the entry to automatically connect to the chosen server.

TS Client Connecting

The client will detect any network connections that are present on your Handheld PC and then attempt to contact the chosen server.

TS Client Failed

In the event that the server is unavailable or the network connection is not working correctly the above error message will be displayed.
If the RDP Client is able to contact the server, the Task Bar will automatically "Auto Hide" and it will load the relevant log-in screen for the Operating System you are connecting to.

TS Client and Windows 2000 Server

Windows 2000 Log-On screen.
Windows 2000 users need to ensure that the server had the necessary TS CAL's installed for you to be able to access it remotely.

TS Client and Windows XP Professional

Windows XP Professional Log-On screen.
Under Windows XP the log-on screen will be displayed. Any current user sessions on the PC will remain active until you have entered your user details and tapped Ok. At which point any one using the PC will be remotely logged off and the PC will lock.

TS Client and Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003 Log-On screen.
Like with Windows 2003 you must ensure you have the necessary TS CALs installed for user access. However access using the Administrative account is permitted without the need for CALs

If you wish to suspend the RDP session at the log-on screen, simply tap Cancel the RDP session will terminate and the Windows CE client will exit.
During the RDP session the Start Menu contains additional entries to allow access to the standard Windows NT user controls as well as suspending the RDP session.

See Also

Remote Desktop Client for Windows CE Download - CESD-S-0066

Microsoft Windows Server - http://www.microsoft.com/server/
Microsoft Windows XP - http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/