OnLive, a company that is best known for its cloud gaming solutions, stirred the waters today at CES when it announced that it is planning to release an iPad application shortly that will bring Windows 7 to the iPad.
The app itself will be free, but only allow for two gigabytes of storage. A premium version, with fifty gigabytes of storage, will cost some $9.99 a month. The app provides virtual access to a PC running Windows 7, and will have Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and a browser available for use. We assume that the browser will be Internet Explorer 9.
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A future enterprise edition is planned, according to SiliconFilter, which will “allow customers to run their own applications.” As we have written, OnLive has created an iPad app in the past; it previously released a version of its service for the iPad that brings what it called “console-class” games to the touch environment.
If you are not familiar with OnLive, and what it does, allow us to describe to you their core service, which is gaming-oriented:
The company delivers popular gaming titles on-demand over the Internet to a compatible device. Currently supporting PCs, Macs and TVs (via a set-top box), subscribers can play console-quality games whenever they wish, without having to download a large file or inserting a physical disk. Think of it as the Netflix of on-demand gaming.
That prior experience makes this move to Windows 7 hardly surprising; OnLive is simply repurposing its technology to run and provide a full operating system, instead of a game.
However, it must be said that Microsoft is building a version of Office just for the iPad, which, assuming that the company keeps the free version of this product to be focused on Office, harms the offering. Once Office is out for the iPad, why turn to a virtualized Windows 7 install when you can use a native application? The timing on when the official Office for iPad suite will be revealed is unknown, perhaps giving OnLive extensive breathing room.
When the app is released, TNW plans to fully review it. Hang tight until then.