Bug in Windows 8 Remote Desktop metro app freezes local system

For some reason, Windows 8 isn't available under my Connect login to report this bug.  Hopefully a Microsoft employee can pass this along.

 

I am a hard-core tech user, running the x64 RTM version of Windows 8 that was released to MSDN, and has all software updates.  Much of my work is performed remotely, so I spend a lot of time using the Remote Desktop metro app.

 

Both my laptop and desktop have been experiencing "freezes" of sorts.  My metro apps would continue to work no problem, but when I would toggle to my local desktop, I could not use my mouse to click anything in the desktop, including any applications open in the desktop.  Clicking anywhere in the desktop would generate a "beep", and whatever window had focus would lose focus (telling me that the focus was going somewhere else).  While I could not use my mouse, I was able to continue using keyboard shortcuts to work with desktop apps.  The only way to get use of my desktop back is to reboot or log out.

 

Because of the odd focus behavior, it was clear to me that there was a rogue application that was causing the issue.  This morning, I was determined to get to the bottom of what application was causing the issue.  While the issue was manifesting, I opened Task Manager using keyboard shortcuts, and one-by-one ended processes and tested.  It turns out that the culprit is the Remote Desktop metro app, published by Microsoft.  Killing that app restored my mouse access to my desktop.

 

This issue manifests identically on both my laptop and my desktop, both of which are running the same install of Windows 8 Pro RTM downloaded from MSDN.  On my laptop, I installed Windows 8 as an upgrade to Windows 7.  On my desktop, I installed Windows 8 as a clean install.

As much as this may be a bug in Remote Desktop, this is also a bug in Windows 8.  Windows 8 should not allow a Metro app to interfere with user interaction with the desktop.

Given that this issue can render the system virtually unusable, and would be very difficult for an end-user to diagnose, I feel that this bug should be given a high priority in resolution.

 

By the way guys, you have made it wayyyy too difficult to report bugs for Windows 8.  I can't report to Windows 8 under my Connect login, and there are no bug reporting forums in TechNet or MSDN.  I could report it through Support, but I would have to pony up $259 on my credit card just for the privilege. I spent at least as much time figuring out how to report this bug as I did actually diagnosing and documenting the bug... all of which I did as a favor to you guys by the way.

 

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Last updated September 21, 2013 Views 346 Applies to:

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Clearly a minor (but very annoying) bug.  Didn't see it mentioned above, but the Remote Desktop app can also be closed by right-clicking on the charm for it in the upper left of your desktop.  This will often release the hold it has on your local screen.  I hope a fix comes out soon.  Seems like low hanging fruit.

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