View Full Version : Is Onlive 'pirating' Windows with its Desktop app?

03-10-2012, 02:12 PM
Speculation abounded on what type of license they could be using...


Onlive launched this year a new iOS and Android app called, 'Onlive Desktop', in which you can use MS Windows/Office on your tablet. Is their licence valid? It could cost them a lot if not.

Cloud gaming company Onlive, recently released a new service called Onlive Desktop, which allows you to use Windows 7 and the Office suite in your iPad or Android tablet, everything from the cloud. It's free with 2 GB of storage and there's a (soon) option to pay $9.99/month if you want more cloud storage.

Well, seems this was too good to be true. According to ExtremeTech there's speculation regarding the type of licence they could be using to accomplish this, as apparently, is NOT plausible that Microsoft would suddenly allow someone to give away Windows for free.

Microsoft does allow service providers to in effect ďrentĒ Microsoft Office to customers, for a fee that works out to about $10 per month per user. This is not per simultaneous user, but per licensed user. So that each tablet owner who signs up for the Onlive Desktop and accesses any of the Office applications provided ó Microsoft Word, Microsoft Powerpoint, or Microsoft Excel ó would cost Onlive $10 per month. It is plausible that Microsoft might cut a slightly special deal with Onlive for marketing reasons, but not plausible that it would suddenly allow someone to give away its cash cow for free.

If Onlive canít afford to spend $10 per month for every free user, and isnít insane enough to be pirating Office outright, the only other available licensing option is a per processor service provider license (SPLA). This uncommonly used license is designed to allow unlimited users per licensed processor. Pricing for the license isnít public, but it canít be cheap. Just about the only plausible theory is that Onlive loaded up on a bunch of these licenses as a marketing cost.

That would also explain why the Onlive free service is ďsubject to availability.Ē If this is indeed the case, expect Onlive Desktopís popularity to contain the seeds of its own ruin, as eventually the free users will overwhelm the licensed servers and be more likely to become grumpy than willing to pay up for the paid version.

Or, it could be the case that Onlive isn't doing anything wrong... and Microsoft just screwed up their License Agreements?

Only one thing is true. If you are using this service and truly enjoying it, don't get to attached to it, as either Onlive or MS could change things soon!

The likely endings for anyone becoming addicted to the excellent and free Onlive Desktop offering arenít happy ones. Unless Onlive really can perform magic, either their free Desktop service will need to be withdrawn once Microsoft decides to take aggressive action, or customer overload will slowly make it unusable and force anyone wishing to stay with it to pay up.


Seems they are violating Microsoft's Licensing Terms after all!

While this is all fine and dandy for consumers, Microsoft thinks otherwise.

Corporate Vice President of Worldwide Licensing and Pricing at Microsoft Joe Matz stated, "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," ZDNet reports.

Analyst Gartner previously raised similar concerns for OnLive's offering.


NEWS SOURCE #1: Is Onlive pirating Windows and what will it cost them (via) Extreme Tech (http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/121769-is-onlive-pirating-windows-and-what-will-it-cost-them)
NEWS SOURCE #2: Onlive dekstop violates Microsoft's licensing terms (via) IGN (www.ign.com/articles/2012/03/09/onlive-dekstop-violates-microsofts-licensing-terms)

Our thanks to 'Gauss' for this hot news story!

03-10-2012, 03:02 PM
So online should only have to pay like 40$ a head for this thing... as long as Office is thrown in for free. (I think thats what OEM's pay for volume licensing if I recall correctly.)

If they can work out some kind of deal this could be profitable for both of them. (at least if Onlive is making money on this part of it?)