Over the past few months we’ve been covering OnLive, a great app that allows you to stream a full Windows 7 desktop to your iPad so that you can use it as well as Microsoft Office applications on your device. It’s been widely covered since it essentially allows you to have Windows 7 on Apple’s very locked down iPad. However it looks like OnLive may be running into some trouble over licensing agreements with Microsoft.
Microsoft recently published a blog post about volume licensing in which they make particular reference to OnLive and how they believe that it’s in breach of their licensing agreements.
Companies are allowed to offer some ”desktop-like functionality” to users via remote hosting, however hosting Windows 7 itself and Office through an actual Windows 7 installation is excluded from this agreement. If OnLive wanted to continue with this setup, Microsoft are saying that the end user needs to hold a license with Microsoft for the relevant software that they are using on the remote hardware. Basically if you’re using OnLive, you’ll have to have a license for Windows 7 and Office if you’re using it.
At the moment OnLive’s services do not seem to meet these license requirements at all and Microsoft have said that they are “committed to seeing this issue is resolved”.
Some inquiries about these scenarios have been raised as a result of recent media coverage related to OnLive’s Desktop and Desktop Plus services. Additionally, the analyst firm Gartner raised questions regarding the compliance of these services last week. We are actively engaged with OnLive with the hope of bringing them into a properly licensed scenario, and we are committed to seeing this issue is resolved.
OnLive has proved quite popular recently, especially for businesses. They currently give 2 GB of cloud storage and full access to Microsoft Office and other apps as well as Windows 7. There’s also a Plus version with full flash support and faster Internet speeds that costs $4.99 per month. The premium version – OnLine Desktop Pro costs $10 per month and adds even more features to OnLive Desktop Plus.
OnLive will be surely missed if Microsoft put their license agreement into effect and prevent them from offering the service unless users have the correct licences. They might still be able to retain the service, but the price for the end user would go way up.
It will be interesting to see how this develops