OnLive is 'pirating' Windows 7 for iPad cloud desktop

Bad news for cloud desktop provider OnLive. Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) says the iPad-and-Android service isn't compliant with the Windows or Office license agreement. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wonder why it took so long to figure this one out.

By Richi Jennings: Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Sam and Niko snowboard down an exploding volcano...

    Mary Jo Foley reports:

Microsoft...finally go[es] public on the question of whether or not what OnLive is doing is legal. ... “the Services Provider License Agreement (“SPLA”)...does not support delivery of Windows 7 as a hosted client.”


OnLive [commented] “We have never commented on any licensing agreements,” which I’m assuming is a no comment.   

     Jon Brodkin adds:

The free app, which also has a subscription iPad users access to the real version of Microsoft Office. ... It also has the ability to run Adobe Flash content in Internet Explorer.


Microsoft says it's not properly licensed [and] is apparently asking OnLive for some cash. ... Microsoft has licensing options for...Windows in virtual desktop settings, but those options apparently don't cover the OnLive service. ... The analyst firm Gartner questioned whether OnLive's service meets Microsoft licensing terms on February 29.


OnLive...declined to provide any comment.   

Microsoft's Joe Matz is measured, but firm:

Our licensing terms provide clarity and consistency for our partners...and protect our intellectual property. It’s important...that we’re serious about issues of compliance.


We are actively engaged with OnLive with the hope of bringing them into a properly licensed scenario.   

But Gabe Knuth is shocked... shocked I tell you:

Across the industry, people wondered how [OnLive] could pull this off. They simply had to be losing money when you factored in Microsoft licensing. ... Were they ignoring the rules?


I even had a meeting with OnLive's CEO Steve Perlman. ... It turns out...that all the evasiveness and tap-dancing...during that meeting was for good reason. ... However great the OnLive solution may's not fair to the companies that have been doing it correctly if OnLive is allowed to continue...while in violation of the agreement.   

And Andy Patrizio thinks it's two months late:

I knew it was too good to last. I just wonder what took Microsoft so long. ... It was no secret this service was coming.   

And Finally...
Sam and Niko snowboard down an exploding volcano

[bonus link: Behind the scenes]

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Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch, for which he has won ASBPE and Neal awards. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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