Microsoft wants to put OnLive's Windows 7 iPad service "into a properly licensed scenario"

OnLive recently expanded from the realm of cloud gaming to providing virtual access on your iPad to a hosted Windows 7 machine, but it sounds like Microsoft isn't too thrilled about the idea. The standard for desktop virtualization services involves licensing fees to whoever made the OS, but apparently OnLive isn't currently paying Microsoft those fees, making it hard for other cloud desktop hosting services to compete. 

Microsoft's VP of worldwide licensing and pricing, Joe Matz, has said in a recent blog post:

"Some inquiries about these scenarios have been raised as a result of recent media coverage related to OnLive’s Desktop and Desktop Plus services. Additionally, the analyst firm Gartner raised questions regarding the compliance of these services last week. We are actively engaged with OnLive with the hope of bringing them into a properly licensed scenario, and we are committed to seeing this issue is resolved."

Putting aside the fact that Windows 7 running on an iPad is more than a little Frankenstein-y, hosted cloud services like OnLive are going to become a much bigger part of the mobile ecosystem as processor and wireless bandwidth increase. Local storage can be especially limiting to app availability in the SD card-less iOS world. Squabbles like these between Microsoft and OnLive may provide momentary roadblocks to otherwise smart services, but in the long haul, it's easy to see desktop virtualization becoming popular on the iPad, and tablets everywhere.

It sounds like Microsoft doesn't want to stop OnLive's service, just make them pay for it. Which in turn probably means OnLine will have to pass that cost on to end users; namely us.

If you're using OnLive on your iPad, would giving Microsoft some money bother you?

Source: Gartner, TechNet via ZDNet

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Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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Reader comments

Microsoft wants to put OnLive's Windows 7 iPad service "into a properly licensed scenario"


It depends. If onlive is relying heavily in ms code for their service to work, then ms should be paid for the use of that code by onlive. But if this doesn't rely on ms code any more than chrome or Firefox does, then onlive shouldn't have to pay.

Rely on MS code? The whole purpose of the service is to let you use Microsoft products on your iDevice.

I agree, windows 7 in entirely reliant on Microsoft "code" it's their os. Frankly I cannot see a scenario where they shouldn't have to pay licensing fees... Relative to the circumstances

Sorry for the newbish question, but what is the upside to somethign like this as opposed to using something like teamviewer where I can access my own win 7 PC from anywhere via my ipad?

Simple you not only have excell, PowerPoint, word fully featured, but for 5 bucks a month full web browser with adobe flash player on board, letting you see more content and also cloud storage. I like the idea behind it, but needs to be able to let you install your own software, but for that you have to pay more, and at that point is too much.

O yeah and also you don't require to have your PC on, you can be anywhere even a mcdonalds using their Wifi and accessing Onlive desktop service.

I do not want a subscription. Perhaps a "Pay as you go" model. Then again, I could always leave the lone Windows 7 laptop we have in the house on and use LogMeIn...

True that could work to use log me in but is just not efficient, what they are doing is making it easier for the user to access their uploaded data, while using it effectively for work, since with full office without the need to pay makes it really useful, yes the pay version is for the browser only, but the free one you can still use office for all your work needs.

Onlive indeed is awkward. Hate their virtual keyboard. But it is the lesser evil as Office for iOS still is not available (in my case mainly Excel). I believe it will be easier to finally have Office for iOS released. Then probably there won't be a need for services as Onlive.

Well, I guess they gotta pay. Has anyone used this yet? I'm thinking about getting my mom the "newPad" but she does use a lot of flash heavy websites (Shes a Cityville freak). How does the browser work response wise?