Microsoft Targeting OnLive over Windows Remote Virtualization Licensing
Over the past couple of months, we've been covering OnLive's efforts to bring remote virtualization of Windows applications to the iPad, offering access to Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader, and Flash-enabled web browsing through Windows 7. OnLive may, however, be running into some difficulties with Microsoft over its offerings, with ZDNet pointing to a Microsoft blog post discussing licensing arrangements for remote desktop streaming and its belief that OnLive is not meeting these requirements.
Companies are permitted to offer some "desktop-like functionality" to users via remote hosting, but Windows 7 itself and Office provided through a hosted Windows 7 installation are specifically excluded. An alternative method allowing for full remote hosting would require that the end user hold a license with Microsoft for the software and that the remote hardware used to host the Windows installation be dedicated to that specific customer. OnLive's services certainly do not seem to meet either of these paths to compliance, and Microsoft notes that it is "committed to seeing this issue is resolved."
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.
OnLive has apparently yet to issue any public statements on the situation.