Monday, 9 January 2012

OnLive Will Introduce OnLive Desktop, a Free Cloud Based Windows 7 Desktop App for the iPad

The NDA embargo on this news should lift tomorrow, but a few sites like Engadget already broke it, though most of the news stories were swiftly removed.

Tomorrow, OnLive will announce that it will release a new iPad App named OnLive Desktop on thursday that will give users access to a virtual Windows 7 desktop with access to Windows PC applications like Word, PowerPoint and Excel, as well as a web browser. The free app will offer 2GB of storage. OnLive also plans to launch a pro version for $9.99 per month with 50GB of cloud storage, priority access, additional apps and other features. The company also plans to launch an enterprise version in the future that will allow customers to run their own applications, share documents or work on virtual whiteboards.

The OnLive Web Browser should have support for Flash content, HTML5 and other plug-ins. Because OnLive servers are housed in data centers that are directly connected to the internet backbone and the user only gets a streaming video of what happens on these servers, high-end Flash sites will be loaded ultra fast and with virtually no waiting time. OnLive promises speeds to their servers of up to 10 Gbps. Yes, you read that right, Flash is finally coming to the iPad and this time Apple doesn't have to fear it will run slow.

Given that OnLive generally pushes for more graphically demanding content through its video streaming network, running Windows 7 should prove to be rather easy for the company's engineers. OnLive already has the OnLive App for games available on Android devices, but the OnLive App for gaming on iOS devices still awaits Apple's approval.

The OnLive Desktop App fulfills the dream of cloud computing that many hoped would someday come, through which processing happens in the network rather than on the device. That means that devices no longer need to have high-end CPUs or memory to handle business-class applications. For instance, with the release of the OnLive App, the iPad could for the first time be seen as a potential laptop replacement for business users who need more powerful and feature-rich productivity software than is currently available on the tablet.

Since applications are running on high-end computing clusters in OnLive’s data centers, the only thing holding back performance is the network. Which means that in today’s world of pervasive broadband connectivity, Windows applications running on an iPad could potentially be faster than those running on a standard Windows 7 laptop.

OnLive also plans to extend well beyond the iPad, with apps for Android smartphones and tablets, as well as support for streaming apps to the PC, Mac and TV supported through its OnLive MicroConsole thin client.