OnLive Desktop app to bring Windows 7 to the iPad via the cloud

OnLive, better known for its online gaming service has just announced that it will be launching a cloud based Windows 7 experience for iPad users. The OnLive Desktop app will give users access to a Windows desktop experience without the need for any VNC or remote desktop connections. It is all stored in the cloud and accessible from your iPad or a desktop machine.

OnLive has just re-imagined what’s possible on iPad with the OnLive Desktop app, available Thursday in the iTunes App Store. Launching a brand-new chapter for OnLive (and everyone), OnLive Desktop gives users instant access to a seamless Windows desktop experience, with full-featured Microsoft Office applications and 2 GB of free cloud storage for secure file access anywhere. Need to edit a Word doc with redlines and comments? No problem. Need to give some oomph to that PowerPoint deck for your meeting? Go for it: present animations and slide transitions, edit diagrams and embed videos. Desperate for a pivot table in Excel? Pivot away … Anything you can do on your office desktop, you will be able to do on your iPad—at home, in your hotel, anywhere.

This is a really great idea for Windows users and offers some much needed functionality, especially for heavy Microsoft Office users. The app will be available for the iPad in the US starting on Thursday January 12th. The rollout will continue for the iPhone, PC and Mac soon afterwards. The Online Desktop app will be free and include 2GB of cloud storage.

OnLive also plan on offering some more advanced versions of the app too. OnLive Desktop Pro will offer up to 50GB of storage, priority access to apps, full-featured cloud-accelerated browsing and additional PC applications for a subscription of $9.99 a month. OnLive Enterprise will allow complete customization for business and organizations and OnLive collaborative services will offer thousands of users to simultaneously view, control and discuss a shared desktop via voice chat.

Source: OnLive

chrisoldroyd

UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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Reader comments

OnLive Desktop app to bring Windows 7 to the iPad via the cloud

15 Comments

Why would anyone want to run Windows 7 from a Cloud, on the iPad? I can't think of a single thing I'd need Windows 7 on the iPad for. In fact, I can't think of any reason to have Windows on anything any more, other than to play games that aren't available on the Mac platform. As far as work goes, I can do everything on my Macbook without even running Bootcamp to dual boot Windows or bothering with Parallels Desktop to run Windows 7 virtually. I just don't see a need for this.

@DARK_BLU, maybe you dont but for someone that has to work in a Windows environment due to work, this is a welcome app. But in saying that, I laready have this setup with Citrix reciever. Nevertheless, still welcome!

Do you work in a windows environment with a Mac? Did your company buy you a Mac to work in a Windows environment? I work in a Windows environment on the Windows PC that my company owns and has sitting at my desk. If your company bought you a Mac to work in a Windows environment, I'd have to ask why. If on the other hand, you are a consultant working off site on your Mac, maybe you should just get a cheap Windows Laptop. Wouldn't that be better for you?

The only problem with Citrix Receiver is that the user licenses are expensive. Hopefully another company comes out with a competing product to drive down the cost a bit and make them more feasible.

The need comes for when traveling employees or sales staff try to do a presentation from their iPad and all they have is crappy generic Apple provided fonts on the iPad or they want to give a more comfortable visual experience to the 90% of the population that still uses Windows.
Everyone does not live and breathe Mac. In fact there is a good argument that can be made as to why someone would buy a Mac to do business work, its just an overpriced pc with cheap hardware.

Fonts can be installed on the iPad. There are MS Office Alternatives for the iPad, but if you just feel you must have Windows on your iPad running from a cloud, let's see that happen with any degree of speed and reliability. Not holding my breath for that, but to each his own. If you just must have Windows, then by all means, use it. Do whatever works for you.

You are correct that there are MS Office alternatives for the iPad. However, if you read through the reviews you would be an absolute fool to spend the $25 or whatever they are charging now for them.
One thing I will agree is that they may have jumped the gun introducing this with Windows 7 instead of waiting for Windows 8 since it will be more tablet friendly. However, I guess its common practice anymore to just put a product out as soon as possible and offer practical options later on to get the most sales.

I didn't spend $25 on QuickOffice Pro for my iPhone. It gets the job done for me. It depends on your needs. I didn't spend anything on Open Office on my Macbook and have not had any compatibility issues with anyone being able to read documents I compose on my Macbook. And my day job is a Microsoft Shop. I agree with you that they should've waited for Windows 8 but they will probably update it for that. There was a time when I was a huge Microsoft fan but I just got sick and tired of the bloat in Windows. I'll say this, if this works with any degree of speed and reliability at all, it will give people just one more reason to buy an iPad and ignore Android and Windows. The truth is that this product is more of a win for Apple than Microsoft. This gives an iPad the ability to do iOS and Windows. I don't see any Android products doing this.

The problem has never been a Windows pc not being able to display what was created from a Mac or iPad, it is the other way around. Since Windows is more mainstream and widespread there are obviously more features to the MS Office suite. The problem comes when you try to play a presentation or open a Word doc without the standard Helvetica font.
I have seen this numerous times in an actual business situation because the person didn't take into account the presentation would be viewed from an iPad. This product would obviously solve that.

The best option, always, will be Windows. History shows that Microsoft has just won the game. Does anyone remember Linux?. Suddenly everyone believed that Linux will eat Windows, and Windows has made ​​the game in 90% of computers worldwide. Now everyone talks about Apple and, Android has 40% market share of tablet - smartphone. When Windows comes into play of the tablet (Windows 8), the Apple tablet will be "for those who want to pay more" to carry the logo of an apple.

It seems that what OnLive is trying to say by doing this is that Windows is just another game!! Haha!! I play that one at work!

For those of us who have real jobs, we still need windows! I know you think apple is the be all end all, but every once in a while you may come in contact with normal human beings who live in the real world and need windows. Try opening and editing an xlsm file on an iPad or iPhone.