On January 10, cloud virtualization service OnLive proved they were more than fun and games with the launch of OnLive Desktop, an free, five megabyte app that delivered Windows 7 and Microsoft Office to your iPad. Our launch review found it to be an impressive technical trick, if lacking in any real usefulness.
Microsoft seems even less impressed. Joe Matz, Corporate VP of Worldwide Licensing and Pricing (how’s that for a job title that just screams “I am a tool”?) posted a nit-picky dissection of Microsoft's various licensing policies and states:
“Our licensing terms provide clarity and consistency for our partners, ensure a quality experience for end customers using Windows across a variety of devices, and protect our intellectual property. It’s important to us and to our partners that we’re serious about issues of compliance.”
Matz goes on to blame the media for shedding light on this possible usage violation and states that they are “actively engaged with OnLive with the hope of bringing them into a properly licensed scenario”. The whole post reads more like damage control than any actual statement. I’d wager that some vendor working on a similar product complained to Microsoft.
While virtualization is not a new wrinkle in the classic ‘one user, one license’ software usage scheme, virtualization on the scale of the OnLive Desktop certainly is. Obviously new rules will need to be created to ensure the proper use of programs in this new technology (leading to three more pages in that EULA you never read). It is a shame that this software giant elected to sight the elaborate ‘if-then-else’ terms of currently existing policies as opposed to simply fixing what will, no doubt, continue to be a sticky wicket in the future, especially two months after said product was released.
OnLive Desktop was also released for Android systems last week on
the Android Market Google Play.