OnLive, the company that made the Cloud Gaming idea work, has announced OnLive Desktop, a remote desktop application that brings Windows 7 into the iPad, but this app does not control your PC. Instead, it gives you access to a Windows instance running inside OnLive. The company claims that this new variant of remote desktop does bring all the power of Windows 7 and more. OnLive Desktop brings multi-touch gestures, handwriting recognition and a virtual keyboard, all of which are key features if one is to make Windows work on the iPad 9.7 display.We have not had a chance to test the application (because we’re running all over the place at CES…) but OnLive can pull it off better than others. Why? Because a company that can stream a 30FPS game with low-latency should be capable of streaming a Windows desktop very fast too. When Cloud Gaming was in its infancy, 3 years ago, I have argued that one possible application of ultra-low latency video streaming would be such a remote desktop app, just like this. While others were chasing dreams of “as-good-as-movies” gaming, OnLive went on to build a real business, and now delivers what seems to be a convenient service that uses their fundamental technology building block.
The OnLive Desktop app comes with 2GB of cloud storage, and a Windows instance that is pre-loaded with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more. A premium version called OnLive Desktop Pro comes with 50GB of storage will be available for $9.99/mo. And that’s not it: while available only for the iPad for now, this virtualized Windows is soon going to be available from all the computers that can run Onlive, which means the OnLive box, PCs and Macs.