Gaming Provider OnLive Enters Desktop Virtualization Scene
We took a look at OnLive nearly two years ago, asking what we could learn about the cloud world from video game companies. At the time, OnLive was promising (and now delivers) cloud-based video games through a simple subscription service that streams the games to an OnLive box, computer or tablet. No need to buy any expensive computer parts or gaming consoles. But now, OnLive has taken to something less taxing: the desktop.
Gigaom and The Verge both have confirmed OnLive announced at CES 2012 OnLive Desktop, a “freemium” service wrought from its expertise and know-how on serving up video games. The service is simple: Download the iPad app and log in to your new Windows 7 desktop with 2GB of free space. Microsoft Office is at your fingertips, along with other basic applications. It is expected to be available Jan. 12, 2012, and if you want something a little more generous, you can subscribe to a $10-a-month plan that provides up to 50GB of storage, unlocks more enterprise-friendly features and allows users to install custom applications.
The virtualized consumer desktop is definitely picking up demand. We recently saw company CloudOn launch its own Windows 7 virtualization platform, designed specifically to only run Microsoft Office applications. Here, OnLive is offering a little bit more freedom, but the pull is the same. Will cloud computing mean the rise of the personal hosted desktop environment by 2013? Stay tuned with us and find out.