Feeds

OnLive goes legit with licensing downshift for virtual Windows

Microsoft investigating VDI licensing

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Updated Microsoft has claimed a partial victory in getting OnLive to change its Windows-on-an-iPad service to comply with Windows 7 licensing terms.

OnLive set up a Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) system, offering users of the iPad and other hardware to use a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) version of Windows 7 on their devices. Microsoft began investigating the system, and, in an email to El Reg, is now claiming a victory after OnLive appeared to have downshifted its systems from Windows 7 (which requires a license for every machine it runs on) to Windows Server 2008R2, which is used by Citrix and others.

"We're pleased to have been told that the OnLive Desktop application is now accessing our software by hosting it on Windows Server, an important step in delivering any Microsoft-licensed desktop-like service to the public," the email said. "Based on this information, we will work with OnLive to take a closer look at its service and ensure it is operating according to its license like thousands of other partners and utilizing our standing pricing and licensing terms."

Redmond's statement does raise some questions however. "We ... have been told" isn't a firm statement of assured knowledge, and a follow-up call to Redmond representatives confirmed that Microsoft is still checking on the veracity of OnLive's licensing arrangements. OnLive told El Reg that it never comments on licensing issues.

Others have been less unequivocal. Guise Bule, cofounder of VDI consultancy tuCloud, told The Register that he had some serious doubts about just how compliant OnLive is actually being, saying there were concerns that the company might simply have reskinned Windows 7 to make it look as though the shift had taken place.

"We're not completely convinced. We think they may have skinned Windows 7 to make it look like Server 2008R2. We're seeing traces of Windows 7 in there, but can't prove it," he said. "If they have downgraded to R2, then at least they are playing on the same playing field as the rest of us."

Bule said that the irony in the situation is that setting up a VDI system on Windows 7 was perfectly easy to do. He said Microsoft was trying to keep a hold on the market for a while with licensing terms so that Redmond could launch its own service when it was ready.

OnLive Screen Shot

Smoking gun or smoke and mirrors?

El Reg is skeptical on this one, and so we have included a screenshot provided by Bule for readers to make up their own minds. If OnLive is reskinning its systems, then it's a very dangerous tactic, since Microsoft's legal team would likely take them to the cleaners. ®

Update

Guise Bule has retracted his earlier observation regarding OnLive's operating system status and said a closer examination of server images showed the shift had been made.

"In our defence we NEVER use server images for our desktops rigs and the thought simply did not occur to us the 2008R2 would have Win7 files native in it, still doesn't make sense to us but it appears as if there are according to our peers," he told El Reg.

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?