Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)
The Remote Desktop Server in Microsoft Windows provides functionality for securely connecting remote clients and servers, for channeling communication between components of remote clients and servers, and for managing servers.
The Remote Desktop Services implements the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) which is a multi-channel protocol that allows users of a remote client to connect to a server or Virtual Machine over a network. This multi-channel capability enables the use of separate channels, called virtual channels, to carry different types of data including graphics data, keyboard and mouse user input, device communication, file system, audio and video, and licensing information.
RDP is used to initialize connections; negotiate capabilities (including security); and transfer input between a remote client (RDP Client) and a server (Terminal Server or TS Server). An RDP Client is an application running on a personal computer, a tablet, or some other device.
Microsoft offers a patent license for the RDP protocol set. Documentation describing the RDP protocol is available for free on the Microsoft Developers Network (MSDN) web site at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc216517.aspx.