OnLive, the cloud-gaming service, has just broken into the consumer space with OnLive Desktop, and iPad (and soon Android and phone) app that gives users free access to a Windows cloud-based space. With 2GB of free storage and access to Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint, along with some basic Windows 7 functions (like the Microsoft Surface picture viewing application, file storage, media viewing, etc.), you can now use your iPad as a Windows 7 device.

Yes, note the irony in that statement. The only way to get an authentic touch experience for Windows 7 without putting down $15K for a Surface table is with an iPad.

I got to play briefly with the service, and it’s pretty fluid and I was impressed with how it ran. iPad users can download the app right now here for free.

The service is currently only available for free with 2GB, though the company has revealed three additional enterprise plans. The first is $10/month and offers 50GB of storage, all of the features of the free service though with higher bandwidth priority, and the option to purchase and use additional software that developers make available through the service. That means applications like Adobe Photoshop or Autodesk may be available without any requirement to install or take up space, while having the backbone and muster of high-end servers running all the computational processing.

Two additional services will include full IT-managed desktops that will support just about any device and function required by the business, and a collaborative service that will offer voice and video conferencing for thousands of users simultaneously. Both services will be priced based on the needs of prospective clients.

James Pikover

Spawned in the horrendous heat of a Los Angeles winter, James was born with an incessant need to press buttons. Whether it was the car radio, doorbells on Halloween or lights, James pushed, pressed and prodded every button. No elevator was left unscathed, no building intercom was left un-rung, and no person he’s known has been left un-annoyed.