OnLive sneaks Windows 7 into the iPad
We're not playing games now
Tablet fondlers can finally get some work done thanks to streaming cloud supplier OnLive, which now pipes the full Windows 7 experience from its data centres to punters' palms.
Right now the free app doesn't maintain any settings between sessions, but does provide a working Win 7 desktop, and copy of Microsoft Office, which can interact with files stored in an OnLive account. Alternatively it could be used to trick your mates into believing you've managed to blag a next-generation Windows tablet for the afternoon.
OnLive Desktop works in exactly the same way as OnLive's gaming service which Reg Hardware favourably reviewed earlier this week. The applications (be they games or word-processing packages) run on a remote server with the screen streamed to the user. Interactions with the user are sent back to the server to process, and while some reports said that early versions of the client were a little laggy OnLive's experience in getting twitch-reaction gaming to work should help it create a smooth desktop experience.
Decent connectivity is therefore essential - don't expect to be running Microsoft Word on an aeroplane, or even away from a decent Wi-Fi connection.
It's not the first time we've seen Windows streamed to a fondleslab: VNC and Citrix have been doing it for a while if one can be bothered to set up a computer to be shared, but OnLive is making it as simple as downloading the app and firing it up.
The virtual machines containing the Windows desktops are running on the same metal as the games, so anyone using OnLive for gaming shouldn't have any problems using OnLive Desktop, should they be desirous of vanilla Windows.
Without persistence the usefulness is limited as one can't install the legacy applications that make Windows such a necessity, but that should change once the company has got the service tightened up and tested. Until then it's still well worth a look if only for the novelty factor. ®
Free application offering Windows 7 and Office ?
To Microsoft lawyers: All hands man your battle stations!
i'm so happy that there's now an app that turns a $600 poser toy into a $300 keyboardless netbook whilst making it miscrosoft's gimp.
So the iPad can run a Terminal session.
The important bit isn't the iPad, but how reliable and flexible Onlive's Cloudy Remote Windows will be. How does it compare with "designed for cloud" things like Azure and Google Docs.
Badly I imagine in terms of bandwidth needed.
But is is usable?
My experience to date is that the ability to run Windows on a touch/tablet device is not a problem. The real issue was with the software - an interface designed for a mouse can be really difficult (impossible in some cases) to use with touch. Microsoft's tablet computer's always felt crippled for this reason - it wasn't the hardware, but the software. The only solution was to connect a stylus or mouse. How will streaming the same old software to a tablet make this situation any better?
Because this one actually comes with Windows
as a hosted service, instead of making you provide your own license, hardware and connectivity.
Read, comprehend, post.