I'm trying to set up a system where I have two computers: a powerful desktop, and a tablet that I can carry around easily. The tablet may be the Notion Ink Adam, Motorola XOOM, or another one I haven't looked at yet. It may even run Windows 7 instead of Android, but I doubt that.

Anyway, I would want to control the main desktop from the tablet, using RDP, VNC, or something similar (may be a proprietary protocol). What I want to know is, if the tablet supports multitouch (which it probably will), will I be able to make gestures which the main computer (running Windows 7) will be able to recognize as multitouch gestures? I'm not talking about "pinch to zoom" on the tablet client, where I can zoom in on an area of the screen to see it better but where the desktop doesn't know anything about it; I want to be able to, say, rotate a picture in Windows Photo Gallery, or use multiple fingers to select text. I haven't seen anything either way saying if this is possible.

Do you know if RDP supports this, and, if not (either you don't know or you know it doesn't), do you know of something that does?


Yes, it does. Proof is that the Windows Simulator coupled with the new Visual Studio with Metro supports multi touch. It loopbacks an RDP connection to your Windows 8 system and allows you to use your mouse as finger and some gestures work too. It's for testing touch apps without the screen, by the way.

  • I don't know if this was valid at the time I asked the question (back before Windows 8 was even announced), but it is probably correct now. I'll check it out again; thanks! – Daniel H Aug 10 '12 at 16:13

This does not seem to be plausible using RDP nor any other tool available. Usually multitouch support requires the OS to be installed on the hardware that is recognizing the gestures.

The same way that I can access an iPad or iPhone via VNC from my desktop, it does not support the multitouch from my desktop. It seems to be most likely that this does not work the other way around either, regardless of the tablet manufacturer.

  • Sorry it took so long to say something; I was a bit busy. – Daniel H May 24 '11 at 16:58
  • The previous comment was meant to contain all this, too; I just hit the wrong button and took too long writing this. Are you sure that this wouldn't be possible if both the client and the server support multitouch? Not necessarily VNC, of course; any protocol could work. It seems to me that something like xpra (code.google.com/p/partiwm/wiki/xpra) should work (I'm not saying that specifically does, as I haven't tested it and I don't think it has an Android client or could have a Windows server; I'm just saying it or something similar might work). – Daniel H May 24 '11 at 17:08
  • As I said in the answer, multitouch support requires the OS that is interpreting the gestures to be installed on the hardware itself. Although the gestures might be similar for say an Android tablet and a Windows 7 computer, the underlying interpreter is different. I have not seen a multitouch app between multitouch devices either, much less between a tablet and computer to recognize gestures. – paradd0x May 24 '11 at 17:12
  • I'm pretty sure that with the thing I mentioned, the local computer would be both the gesture interpreter and the one with the multitouch hardware. However, as I said in my original comment, I don't know much about it and it almost certainly wouldn't work in my case. Also, could you please explain why multitouch support requires this? It seems to me that the software could, if necessary. install a new device driver and pretend to be real multitouch hardware; why would this not work? As far as the remote computer was concerned, it would have multitouch hardware, wouldn't it? – Daniel H May 26 '11 at 16:27

The only way to have the functionality your are looking for, is to use the multi touch shortcuts that RDP, VNC etc have to offer (left click, right click, drag and drop, scroll wheel, zoom and change monitor functions).

  • What multi touch shortcuts does RDP have? I have been unable to find them... I find that touch-clicking and touch-right-clicking works, but no scroll – Tao Oct 14 '14 at 15:19

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