by Joe White
January 15, 2012
A few days ago, we told you about OnLive Desktop: this new service, which we heard about at CES, promises to gift iPad owners a Windows 7 experience on their Apple-branded tablet, including access to free cloud-storage and Microsoft Office applications. The free application ("OnLive Desktop") has now launched and, though the service appears to be struggling with the initial intense demand, the results are impressive. After you've signed-up for an account (this might take a day or two to be activated, we should add), users can log-in to the OnLive Desktop application and load up their own virtual Windows 7 screen. Though the service can only power a certain number of virtual desktops at any one time, I haven't ever had to wait more than half a minute for OnLive Desktop to load (it loaded-up immediately just a few moments ago). Once within the loaded app and at your desktop, it's possible to interact with a Windows 7 interface and a number of Microsoft Office applications for free: there's Word, Excel and PowerPoint, along with Calculator, Paint, Notepad, Sticky Notes, Windows Journal, Microsoft Surface Collage and Windows Media Player. Furthermore, a number of touch-based built-in games are included with OnLive's Windows 7. You can sync files between OnLive Desktop and your actual computer via OnLive Files, and two gigabytes of cloud-based storage is offered for free (with the option of upgrading to 50 gigabytes for an expected $9.99/month). However, it is possible to use and interact with OnLive Desktop without spending a penny: the app is free, an account is free to create, and those two gigabytes will be enough to sync your important documents over to the service. Take a look at OnLive Desktop in the App Store now, and be sure to post your thoughts in the comments. Update: As several of our readers have noted in the comments, it would appear that OnLive Desktop is not available internationally, and specifically is not in the UK App Store. Apologies to our British readers: we'll let you know when OnLive Desktop launches in the United Kingdom - according to TechRadar, the UK launch of the service isn't too far away.