Thursday, 23 February 2012

OnLive Launched OnLive Desktop Plus for iPad - Internet Explorer 9 Web Browsing with Gigabit Speed, PC Based Adobe Flash and PDF Support for $4.99/Month

OnLive launched the OnLive Desktop Plus plan for the free OnLive Desktop. OnLive Desktop is currently only available for the iPad, but it should be available soon for Android Smartphones and Tablets, PCs, Macs, Monitors and TVs. You can download OnLive Desktop from iTunes.

Back in January, OnLive launched the free OnLive Desktop App for the iPad. It includes a virtual Windows 7 cloud desktop and 2 GB of secure cloud storage, as well as a complementary copy of Microsoft Office software – Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It also includes various Windows 7 utilities and the Windows 7 Touch Pack. More info about what the free OnLive Desktop includes is here. What the cloud computing company has released today is OnLive Desktop Plus.

For $4.99/month, OnLive Desktop Plus adds a cloud-accelerated web browser in the form of Internet Explorer 9 with full PC based Adobe Flash support. This means you can play Flash games, watch Hulu movies and load Flash heavy sites on your iPad. OnLive also added Adobe Reader to the free OnLive Desktop. That means you can now view PDF documents on the free OnLive Desktop and view PDF documents in web pages with the Adobe Reader plug-in through Internet Explorer 9 if you are subscribed to OnLive Desktop Plus. You also get priority access to the OnLive Desktop service -- freeloading standard subscribers can only access the service on an as-available basis.

OnLive has stated that they plan to add support for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox to OnLive Desktop Plus. They also plan to improve other parts of the OnLive Desktop like the virtual keyboard.

Pulling up Speedtest in a virtual copy of Windows 7 over the OnLive Desktop Plus virtual gigabit connection, speeds of over 600 megabits per second down and 200 megabits per second up were measured, enough raw muscle to make page loads instantaneous and stream 4K video from YouTube. That's far more pixels than today's iPad can even display at once. After attaching a Bluetooth keyboard and starting to watch Hulu shows and playing Flash games, the iPad seemed to melt away, one could forget the limitations of mobile browsers like the one Apple provides by default.

Some might be a little disappointed to find that additional plug-ins, such as Microsoft Silverlight or Java updates, can't be installed. Since Netflix uses Silverlight, Netflix movies are currently a no-go on the OnLive Desktop Plus. Since OnLive Founder and CEO Steve Perlman already demonstrated Silverlight and Netflix running on the OnLive cloud web browser, I'm not entirely sure what the problem is, whether it's a legal or technical issue, or both. People who want to install additional applications on the OnLive Desktop will have to wait for OnLive Desktop Pro, which should arrive soon and will cost $9.99/month.

OnLive has stated that OnLive Desktop support for the United Kingdom and other countries should come soon. Announcements regarding the release of the OnLive Desktop App in the UK Apple App Store will be made shortly.

Running remotely on powerful PCs in the cloud that are connected by gigabit ethernet to the internet, OnLive Desktop Plus utilizes OnLive’s patented instant-action cloud gaming technology to deliver a seamless PC application and web experience, instantly responsive to multi-touch gestures, as well as a full PC on-screen keyboard, handwriting recognition and optional Bluetooth keyboard.

Regardless of your local connection speed, be it Wi-Fi or 4G LTE, even the most complex Flash websites—including ones that would take minutes to load over your local connection—load in seconds, instantly delivering fully interactive animation, video and sound. A 50 megabyte file from cloud storage (e.g., Dropbox) or a 15 megabyte attachment from web email (e.g., Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, etc.) can literally download or upload in less than a second, resulting in an utterly transformative web experience. And, despite the astounding speed improvement, OnLive Desktop Plus can dramatically reduce web browsing data usage, since only the top layer of the currently visible part of a website is ever sent over the local connection. Essentially, OnLive Desktop delivers only what you can see or hear at a given moment, potentially reducing data usage by a factor of 10 or more. So you get the world’s fastest mobile browser, at quite possibly the world’s best value.

So you won't necessarily be bumping up against your bandwidth cap if you try it over 4G LTE. Steve Perlman said that the cloud based OnLive Desktop actually uses even less data than a mobile browser typically does today. For one thing, since you're keeping all the files and web resources in the cloud, you'll never need to spend your bandwidth downloading or uploading data to your device beyond the overhead of OnLive itself. Far more impressively, though, OnLive's cloud desktop never uses up your bandwidth when there's nothing moving on screen, OnLive's CEO said.

Since what you're actually seeing on your iPad is a series of compressed streaming video frames, OnLive Desktop only updates the iPad when it needs to — "That's zero kilobytes per second," Perlman said, when OnLive Desktop held still on a static page — and even if you've only got a fraction of a video on screen, Perlman said the service was smart enough, most of the time, to only redraw those pixels. "Essentially, we've given you a firehose, but you're just sipping from it," Perlman says. The possibilities, of course, go way beyond the websites and apps of today. Imagine what developers could build if they knew the user had access to a virtual gigabit connection?

“Experiencing a full Flash-enabled web experience at gigabit speeds on iPad is nothing short of breathtaking, and OnLive Desktop Plus is your ticket to ride,” said Steve Perlman, OnLive Founder and CEO. “Combine that with OnLive Desktop’s full-featured Microsoft Office and Adobe Reader PC applications and not only do you have the world’s fastest mobile browser, but the world’s most powerful productivity tools literally at your fingertips.”

Here is what is included with the free OnLive Desktop account, today’s release of OnLive Desktop Plus, and future releases of OnLive Desktop Pro and OnLive Enterprise (no release dates provided):

OnLive makes it simple and easy to upload/download documents, photos and videos to your OnLive Desktop via a web interface. Users can login to their own personal OnLive Desktop documents at

You can give the free OnLive Desktop App for iPad a try.

You can sign up for free to use OnLive Desktop or sign up for $4.99/month to use OnLive Desktop Plus.

You can also sign in to OnLive Desktop with your OnLive game service account.


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