OnLive Desktop Plus puts Microsoft’s Windows 7 on Apple’s iPad in blazing speed

“You’re probably paying something like $60 a month for high-speed Internet. I’m paying $5 a month, and my connection is 1,000 times faster,” David Pogue reports for The New York Times. “Your iPad can’t play Flash videos on the Web. Mine can. Your copy of Windows needs constant updating and patching and protection against viruses and spyware. Mine is always clean and always up-to-date.”

MacDailyNews Take: What copy of Windows?

Pogue reports, “No, I’m not some kind of smug techno-elitist; you can have all of that, too. All you have to do is sign up for a radical iPad service called OnLive Desktop Plus.”

“It’s a tiny app — about 5 megabytes. When you open it, you see a standard Windows 7 desktop, right there on your iPad. The full, latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Internet Explorer and Adobe Reader are set up and ready to use — no installation, no serial numbers, no pop-up balloons nagging you to update this or that,” Pogue reports. “It may be the least annoying version of Windows you’ve ever used.”

Pogue reports, “The news today is the new service, called OnLive Desktop Plus. It’s not free — it costs $5 a month — but it adds Adobe Reader, Internet Explorer and a 1-gigabit-a-second Internet connection. Now, you might be wondering: What good is a 1-gigabit connection on OnLive’s end, if the far slower connection on my end is the bottleneck? The secret is that OnLive isn’t sending you all of the data from your Web browsing session. It’s sending you only a video stream the size of your iPad screen.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If only OnLive offered Mac OS X, for we have no desire to turn our silk purses into sows’ ears.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward W.” for the heads up.]


    1. We’ve just moved to Windows 7 from XP at work. I will say that it’s the best version of Windows ever…

      …which, unfortunately, is the textbook definition of “damning with faint praise”.


  1. The question is why in the Hell would I want to do this?

    I can already run windows on my iPad for free… I do it all the time. It’s called teamviewer.
    I can do the EXACT same thing online does, without the $5 per month cost.

    I don’t do it to use windows on the iPad, I do it to fix people’s pc’s with my iPad. But you get 100% of what onlive is charging for. Free.

    Yes you can setup teamviewer on a pc/Mac to always be running so you can connect anytime.
    Gotomypc/etc does the same as onlive also, but also not free.

    1. Yeah, but to do that you have to have another computer running Windows that you can connect to. What if you don’t? What if you don’t want to spend money on a computer and a copy of MS Office? And from what I’ve read from others, Pogues speed comments are real. This OnLive implementation is supposed to be blazing fast. Much faster than a normal network connection to a remote desktop.

  2. It’s like putting lipstick on a…
    OK, it’s like putting a pig on a… wait..
    OK, it’s like putting up with Windows on any shape or form.

    An unacceptable proposition.

  3. Been using a Mac since the 512k, but some dedicated high end programs ONLY run on Windows.

    It is not like some people WANT to use Security Gates & Windows, but sometimes the Gate is locked and you have to stay inside the Windows.

  4. so ? if it helps sell ipads to more people, even if they choose to limit themselves, it increases the value of our stock. in this case we sit back and allow the means to justify the ends.

  5. Have any of you negative commenters tried the service yet? I haven’t tried the paid service, but I have tried the free one and it’s definitely great. I would sign up for the paid service just to use a full version of excel when I’m working with my clients except for one problem. I don’t have wifi everywhere I go and thus have no access to the OnLive service. This is a deal breaker for me… but once wifi everywhere arrives it will be a great option. I’m thinking there will be better options before that happens though.

  6. Actually, OnLive is brilliant. Check out the technology behind it. Mind boggling. (The CEO worked for Apple at one time)
    You can even play console-like games with it, instantly.
    The problem is they haven’t found a killer app for it yet… (like Windows on iPad!? Mèhh, not really cool)

    I hope they manage to find a killer app… They deserve it

  7. WITH the RECENT news that OFFICE will arrive on the IPAD3…
    bare in mind as to why this ARTICLE is written.

    TELL CORPORATE AMERICA that they can use their PCs or WINDOWS 7 service like “OnLive Desktop Plus” and see if they BUY in to that concept.

    IT will put the message out CLEARLY — we do not need MICROSOFT OFFICE on the iPAD – period.

    THERE are other alternatives and one is called KEYNOTES, another is PAGES and last is numbers. Not perfect – but perfect in a growing ecosystem and will improve so long people us it.

    BUY A MAC – GET a IPAD – invest in a few apps – PUT it on yr iPHONE also — you will see — your corporate life much smooth… STOP HOPING WINDOWS 7 needs to hold your business together. Even Microsoft is moving on.

      1. Sure i shall stop — but not because you asked… and not becasue you are insulting… I do not agree capitalization is shouting – or rude – i believ caps on words help articualte what you mean – liek commas and periods. Its a habit – thanks for the advice.

        1. To be more precise, the old 1990s rule about internet shouting applied to CAPS LOCK, not intermittent caps.

          Don’t take the criticism too hard, WaterLily. The CAPS for emphasis has been used to great effect by some of my favorite posters, like Zune Tang and Android Forever, and, well, you.

          It’s an effective device to breathe passion and sound into your words, and can turn a sentence into poetry.

          The brilliant Lillian Lieber used this voice in her books on science and math for ordinary people. To see what I mean, look inside this one:

          1. It’s one thing to use caps to emphasize a SPECIFIC word that makes the point, but you can also accomplish this this by using alternative *styles* that are less “loud”.

            Take a look at Waterlily’s comment. Why are words like “with”, “there”, “it” or pretty much any other word emphasized?

            At this point, he’s not emphasizing any specific point in the comment, but rather using the comment as a whole to say, “HeY LOOk aT mE”.

            It usually has the opposite result, as it looks like spam.

            1. You are not wrong. Still, look at waterlily’s posts since abandoning caps for emphasis: colorless, almost lifeless, trading compliance for style.

              Commenters have diverse styles, different shticks, some appalling, some appealing.

              I find it all very human, and interesting.

            2. Depending on the course, yes. For grad classes, definitely. For freshman, I start with ties and work up to flannels over about a4 to 6 weeks. To meet with the Dean, yes — he knows me and would be worried if I were to approach him with a tie on…

  8. People shouldn’t be blasting this. It is a service that works great and perhaps Apple can learn something from this now that iCloud has emerged. I’m not saying that this ought to be the future and that this ought to replace the current OS platform but it is an efficient method of doing work and collaborating without needing to constantly watch for malware or update software.

  9. OKAY i think i need to understand something here…

    “thin client” computing — Google hosts iDOCs online computing this is a THIN CLIENT ?

    Apples iCLOUD is not a THIN CLIENT they are not offering APPS to be used in the CLOUD yet – not as functioning programs – only as data storage and syncing.

    AND – OnLive Desktop Plus and Pro is NOTHING like using Team Viewer its not like VNC where you control a pc… this is ONE server sharing the USE of the installed applications. NO i have not tried it — i have no need for it — JUST wish to understand and see the need and benefits over OFFICE coming for iPAD 3… why do wee need REAL apps then installed in the iPAD… ahhh WIFI and G3 connectivity… wishing to make FILES in EXCEL on the iPad without being CONNECTED to the net.

    AND let me understand APPLE does not have any THIN CLIENT apps – they do not see making money this way yet.

    I think Apple should invest in “OnLive Desktop” buy them out… no need for OFFICE on the iPAD…

    I GUESS i was right… people still have so many choices if they wish to use WINDOWS… PLEASE APPLE do not team with Microsoft to let them gain access to the iPAD for profit.

    1. Holy crap dude. Stop with the caps. FYI, I skipped your entire comment above BECAUSE it’s TOO hard to read IT WHEN every third WORD is in caps.

      Give it a rest. It’s a bad habit. Stop.
      Or else be never read. Your choice.

    2. Google iDocs is sort of a thin client app, really its more of a cloud app.

      OnLive Desktop is slick, it takes the work out of your hands, and a lot of companies run Windows this way already, or very similar to it using Terminal Services in Windows Server.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.