Print 45 comment(s) - last by Black1969ta.. on Mar 16 at 1:12 AM

  (Source: Matt Groening/20th Century Fox)
Paid version may survive, but will likely see licensing-induced price bump

Imagine if you could enjoy Adobe Systems Inc.'s (ADBE) forbidden Flash and PDFs on your iPad.  Now imagine if your device from Apple, Inc. (AAPL) could also use Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Office (MSO) suite of productivity apps.

This dream is reality, thanks to OnLive, an enterprising startup who created an iPad app that leverages remote virtualization to deliver the missing functionality over high-speed gigabit internet connections.  OnLive's free service launched in January, offering users free Office access.  

In February it added the "Desktop Plus" service.  Priced at $4.99/month, the upgrade ditched ads and eliminated annoying waits to get access to the remote Windows 7 desktop.  And it added Adobe PDF reading and Flash compatibility, plus 2 GB of storage.

But OnLive's remote Windows 7 virtualization solution may be in jeopardy.  In a blog posted on March 8 Microsoft worlwide licensing VP, Joe Matz, writes:

Microsoft partners who host under the Services Provider License Agreement ("SPLA") may bring some desktop-like functionality as a service by using Windows Server and Remote Desktop Services.  Under this solution, the partner is free to offer this service to any customer they choose, whether or not they have a direct licensing agreement with Microsoft. However, it is important to note that SPLA does not support delivery of Windows 7 as a hosted client or provide the ability to access Office as a service through Windows 7.  Office may only be provided as a service if it is hosted on Windows Server and Remote Desktop Services.

He then specifically addresses the elephant in the room -- OnLive's Desktop app.  Writes Mr. Matz:

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.

Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean game over for the promising service.  Unlike Apple who tries to ban disruptive companies, Microsoft tends to try to bring them into the licensing fold.  However, it sounds like OnLive will need to buy a whole license per user to avoid litigation regarding its remote hosting scheme.  

iPad OneLive

That means that while the service may survive, the free version is almost certainly dead, except perhaps on a trial-driven basis.  And likely any paid version will be much more expensive than it currently is.

There have been many rumors that Microsoft is preparing its own direct port of Office to the iPad and Android.  However, Apple's iPad 3 launch came and went without any announcement from Microsoft.  Microsoft did recently launch a OneNote app for Android and iOS.  However, it is uncertain whether or not the rumored iOS Office Suite will come to be, given that it could remove one of the biggest selling points of Microsoft's coming Windows 8 tablets.

[Images of app courtesy of OneLive]

Sources: TechNet, OneLive

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Meh @ Microsoft
By SongEmu on 3/11/2012 1:55:09 PM , Rating: 2
Not to get into the right or wrongs of OnLive's arrangement, how is what they're doing any different than loaning out time on a legitimate windows platform? Isn't that what all hotels do when they put out a public "free internet" computer in the lobby? One license, multiple users, hotel still owns computer.

RE: Meh @ Microsoft
By Solandri on 3/11/2012 7:51:02 PM , Rating: 2
It's a long-standing ambiguity in software licensing which is rarely ever cleared up. Is the license per computer? Or is it per user? Sometimes a company makes it explicit (Adobe lets you install Photoshop on both your desktop and laptop, they only stipulate that it not be run on both simultaneously). But more often than not, the company exploits the ambiguity and tries to make sure the answer is "which ever one makes us the most money."

In the hotel case, the license is for the computer. I'd agree with you that OnLive's arrangement makes sense if the number of users they have doesn't exceed the number of licenses they have. But traditionally in a business environment, Microsoft has enforced one license per seat, not one license for every instance in use at any given time. The best example is their licensing for Terminal Services (basically, remote logins into VMs running Windows). If you have 100 employees but only 10 will need to connect to it at a time, you can't get away with 10 licenses. They will still require you to get 100 licenses (one per user's computer).

For home use though, you don't need to use OnLive. Use your tablet to Remote Desktop or VNC into a PC or VM with a copy of Office installed. Several of my clients are doing just that to run proprietary PC business apps from their tablets.

RE: Meh @ Microsoft
By MGSsancho on 3/12/2012 3:18:57 AM , Rating: 5

Microsoft has solved any multi-license issues over a decade ago. OnLive simply either did not think they needed one or failed to call up Microsoft to clear things out before launching. Either way it is all fixed now.

RE: Meh @ Microsoft
By chripuck on 3/12/2012 11:18:50 AM , Rating: 2
Splashtop HD, $5, problem solved.

Office is so yesterday? That's funny...
By Mugur on 3/12/2012 3:31:53 AM , Rating: 5
That's why Excel is probably the most used piece of software in any productivity scenario...

Of course, if you only write letters to grandma and Twitter is your way of life (besides posting on blogs, of course), it may well be so. But I challenge anyone that have any complex job involving documents or spreadsheets to get rid of the "old Office".

By steven975 on 3/12/2012 8:44:39 AM , Rating: 2
Totally agree. Until something better comes out, at least...which I don't see happening anytime soon.

Word can burn for all I care. Access I don't like developing on since 2007, but it's also very powerful in the right hands.

licensing, lol
By Argon18 on 3/12/2012 12:49:17 AM , Rating: 1
I like how the article says Microsoft tries to "bring them into the licensing fold" as if this was some kind of friendly benevolent suggestion. What this really means is Microsoft is telling them "give us more money or we'll sue your ass off". Typical Microsoft tactics, hidden behind soft journalistic lingo.

RE: licensing, lol
By 0ldman on 3/12/2012 1:06:00 AM , Rating: 1
If someone was using something like this to all but give away your works, wouldn't you?

I'd rather the ball keep rolling than have the dictatorship of Apple.

RE: licensing, lol
By kb9fcc on 3/12/2012 10:09:49 AM , Rating: 2
I think the phrase you're looking for is, "embrace, extend, and extinguish".

By TakinYourPoints on 3/12/2012 4:52:27 AM , Rating: 2
Imagine if you could enjoy Adobe Systems Inc.'s (ADBE) forbidden Flash and PDFs on your iPad.

PDF viewing is built into the iPad and iPhone, same with Word and Excel and numerous other file types. It makes sense given that OS X has these formats and more built in with the Quick Look feature.

I know people have said it here many many times but you should really do your homework before posting. This one is off the top of my head, mistakes galore:

Apple has long prevented dual booting to Linux

Completely wrong, dual booting Linux has long been an option, a PPC distro of Debian or whatever is all you needed before (now you need an x86 version), or you can just run X11 (built into OS X) if you want.


Apple does allow Windows installation via Boot Camp, but only via a special understanding with Microsoft who cross licenses patents with Apple.

Again, false, Microsoft doesn't restrict Windows installations so long you have x86 hardware capable of running it.

This is a tech site, show some technical knowledge.

By TakinYourPoints on 3/12/2012 5:02:09 AM , Rating: 2
Speaking of false...

There have been many rumors that Microsoft is preparing its own direct port of Office to the iPad and Android.

I know this is Mick spin zone but there are no plans for an Android version right now, period. It has been reported in many places and is even noted in the DT link you posted, but I guess you glossed over that.

Microsoft has over two dozen iPhone and iPad apps, all full featured and most of which are excellent. They have five total on Android, nearly all simple front ends for sites like Bing and MSN. The money in Android isn't there for them, and in the case of Android tablets the buyers aren't there either.

Office ain't happening on anything other than iPad and Windows 8 tablets unless something drastically changes.

By chripuck on 3/12/2012 11:17:41 AM , Rating: 2
Or you could pay $5, one time, for Splashtop HD. Install the client on your PC, sign in with Google and access your PC anywhere in the world.

Onlive Killed
By DetectApple on 3/10/12, Rating: -1
RE: Onlive Killed
By B3an on 3/11/2012 7:03:50 AM , Rating: 4
... Or people could simply wait a little longer for the many Windows 8 tablets coming, in all kinds of different configurations to suit anyones needs - That will ALL run Office.

Hmm a Win 8 tablet with a keyboad dock, that can actually get real work done by transforming it in to a full PC, and can completely replace any laptop as well because of this. Or a gimmicky toy with an Apple logo... thats tough one! /sarcasm

RE: Onlive Killed
By testerguy on 3/11/2012 7:37:27 AM , Rating: 2
You can get a keyboard dock for an iPad.

RE: Onlive Killed
By shockf1 on 3/11/2012 7:50:10 AM , Rating: 3
but it still doesnt replace a laptop for most business use....

RE: Onlive Killed
By B3an on 3/11/2012 4:16:03 PM , Rating: 1
Not just business use, a Win 8 tablet will also work with the millions of peripherals that Windows already supports. Theres just so many advantages...

RE: Onlive Killed
By SlyNine on 3/11/12, Rating: 0
RE: Onlive Killed
By Shark Tek on 3/11/2012 5:13:48 PM , Rating: 4
Deja Vu?

I think that I heard the same statement just before Win 7 came out.

HP Slate ?????

MS will have a hard time catching up Apple on the tablet sector.

RE: Onlive Killed
By B3an on 3/12/2012 10:46:42 AM , Rating: 3
Come on... Win 7 was extremely bad for touch input and did not support ARM SoC's. No one seriously ever thought that would ever do well on tablets.

It's completely different with Win 8. Intel will also have low power Atom SoC's, that rival ARM, that run all x86 software.

And IMO the Metro touch UI on 8 is the best around. It makes iOS and Android look and feel dated.

RE: Onlive Killed
By SlyNine on 3/11/2012 6:13:46 PM , Rating: 2
Thats the problem with this post PC crap. Guess what, you have to turn you tablet IN to a PC to make it work.

Well they have had notebooks that could basically work as a desktop for a long time now. People still build desktops, hmm.

RE: Onlive Killed
By Solandri on 3/11/12, Rating: 0
RE: Onlive Killed
By TakinYourPoints on 3/12/2012 4:54:01 AM , Rating: 2
No idea why you got the downvotes, your post is balanced and accurate

RE: Onlive Killed
By Solandri on 3/12/2012 6:16:18 PM , Rating: 2
I'm used to it when I post on tablets vs. PCs. I correctly predicted Apple's tablet would sell extremely well. Even got the price right (lol), though I didn't believe Apple would hit that price point. But that post too got downrated (initially) by people who don't consider tablets to be real computers.

Tablets aren't my cup of tea - I don't even own one yet. For personal use I'm firmly in the laptop/desktop camp. But I can see why tablets appeal to a large segment of the population.

RE: Onlive Killed
By RadnorHarkonnen on 3/12/2012 9:36:37 AM , Rating: 1
I know why it was downgraded.

"Usually they're under the outdated misconception that notebooks are slower, or that they cost a lot more."

This is why. I stopped reading here.

"The business clients who've requested desktops have cited: large size as a deterrent to theft, ability to keep the monitor for future use while just upgrading the computer, and availability of larger monitors (you could hook one up to a notebook, but for some reason that seems "wasteful" even if it costs less). Unless you're a gamer or need proprietary PCI/PCI-x expansion slots, there is no functional reason to get a desktop."

Your SMB customers are just clueless. For a SMB , Desktop = 24x5 Operation, a laptop gets degraded very fast if it is used for 10 hours a days during 2 years.

"proprietary PCI/PCI-x expansion slots" What the hell did i just read ?

The post is well written but the message is wrong and doesn't contribute to the discussion.

RE: Onlive Killed
By Solandri on 3/12/2012 6:04:52 PM , Rating: 2
I work mostly with 1-5 employee small businesses. They just need a small desktop for office tasks, generally not a server.

RE: Onlive Killed
By Rukkian on 3/12/2012 10:31:43 AM , Rating: 1
To some extent I agree with you, but I think you are over simplifying. While laptops can replace desktops, they are more fragile, more prone to failure (from being carted around, and from the screen and hinges) and while are more competitive than they once were, they are still more money than a comparable desktop. Can you get a lower quality laptop for the same price as a desktop, yes, will it last as long or have the same power, no.

For the majority of users, a laptop is perfectly fine, but will typically cost more in the long run. The comment about keeping monitors is a big one, as typically a good monitor will last through 2 builds.

A very small minority (where I fall) like to tinker and be able to just upgrade the part we want, which is really not feasible on a laptop, however that does not effect the majortiy of the population.

RE: Onlive Killed
By B3an on 3/11/2012 7:09:29 AM , Rating: 2
BTW your comment is nothing but spam. You're an iSheep linking to your own site with the same name as you. If you're going to do something like this then i'd have thought you'd atleast have the brain power to use a different user name from your site.

RE: Onlive Killed
By Motoman on 3/11/2012 9:23:23 AM , Rating: 1're expecting brain power from an Apple consumer?

Jason Mick Continues Biting Microsoft
By Maximalist on 3/11/12, Rating: -1
RE: Jason Mick Continues Biting Microsoft
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/11/2012 11:10:34 AM , Rating: 1
decided to omit the fact that Windows 7 and Office Suite are not free
No shit? I didn't know that!


If the provider of the virtualized service, Onlive, wants to give their service for free to end-users, this is their prerogative
Sure, they can, but they need to be licensed properly first.

The rest of your drivel, you sound like an iTool...

RE: Jason Mick Continues Biting Microsoft
By Tony Swash on 3/11/12, Rating: -1
RE: Jason Mick Continues Biting Microsoft
By Cheesew1z69 on 3/11/2012 12:50:12 PM , Rating: 2
Oh look, the other iTool is here now...

RE: Jason Mick Continues Biting Microsoft
By Tony Swash on 3/11/2012 1:20:02 PM , Rating: 1
Name calling?

Is that the best you can do?

RE: Jason Mick Continues Biting Microsoft
By Black1969ta on 3/11/2012 5:22:27 PM , Rating: 2
Is that the best you can do?

Spouting the same anti MS and Android biased, unsubstantiated drivel you always do, not backing up any opinion with fact. Then you sum with the great link to a totally unbiased Mac site! /sarcasm off.

Who are you to judge any method of discourse? Sometimes name calling is just stating the obvious.

By Cheesew1z69 on 3/12/2012 9:42:23 AM , Rating: 1
It's also ironic considering he calls people iphobes quite frequently....

RE: Jason Mick Continues Biting Microsoft
By Tony Swash on 3/12/2012 11:29:02 AM , Rating: 1
Spouting the same anti MS and Android biased, unsubstantiated drivel you always do, not backing up any opinion with fact. Then you sum with the great link to a totally unbiased Mac site! /sarcasm off.

Who are you to judge any method of discourse? Sometimes name calling is just stating the obvious.

Did you type that in Word?

By Cheesew1z69 on 3/12/2012 12:24:23 PM , Rating: 1
Andddddddddddddd another useless comment from the iTool...

By PrezWeezy on 3/13/2012 1:09:21 PM , Rating: 2
I usually do type my comments in Word because the auto-correct and dictionary are far better and suited exactly to how I like to type. Yes, I have Chrome which tells me a word is spelled wrong (although right now I'm typing on IE10 and it works MUCH better than Chrome's spell checking) but I find Word much easier to use. 'Cause, you know, it was designed to do just that.

By Black1969ta on 3/16/2012 1:12:54 AM , Rating: 2
Did you type that in Word?

Typed it in Firefox, not sure why that matters.

Would you imagine the booming voice of God, if I had typed it in Safari?

RE: Jason Mick Continues Biting Microsoft
By SlyNine on 3/11/2012 6:11:54 PM , Rating: 2
We have reached the limit of what a smart phone can provide, and tablets will never be as usable as a PC.

What more are you going to do on your little touch device that doesn't require you to turn it in to a PC.

By Jackthegreen on 3/11/2012 7:43:56 PM , Rating: 2
We haven't quite yet reached the limit of what phones can do. Until we see quantum computing with atomic-level transistors and software to fully utilize that, there is still progress to be made.

RE: Jason Mick Continues Biting Microsoft
By NellyFromMA on 3/12/2012 12:03:57 PM , Rating: 1
Lols, he cites an article from cult of mac that is anti office. How unbiased and inciteful...

By Cheesew1z69 on 3/12/2012 12:27:25 PM , Rating: 2
As are most of the articles he links too....

By Norseman4 on 3/12/2012 12:30:04 AM , Rating: 1
Windows 7 and Office Suite are not free

And OSx[whatever] is? (Whatever) If it's worth something why would it be free. (By definition, imo, free means worth nothing more)

failed to mention that Microsoft has its own Office 365 offering in the cloud?

Congratulations, somebody has an alternative to what already was listed. (Though maybe not in the article)

[look I'm drunk, if you can deal with what I meant to say, even in a GWB'erlian way, and come up with a counter ' I'll be happy.]

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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