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OnLive switches to Windows Server 2008 to keep mobile app

updated 05:55 pm EDT, Mon April 9, 2012

OnLive cleared to go on iPad

OnLive has quietly settled the OnLive Desktop licensing dispute with Microsoft. A check at OnLiveFans found that the streaming software company has switched over to Windows Server 2008 R2 instead of Windows 7 for the OS users see. The switch gives it all the functionality OnLive was already promising, but avoids the concerns of needing a license for virtually every user.

The exact terms of the deal, if any, weren't outlined. Microsoft had only said that OnLive wasn't in compliance and was in talks to bring the remote desktop service into compliance. OnLive had claimed that its licensing team had made sure the existing implementation was legal.

Publicly, neither side has commented on the deal.

Making the new pact allays some worries that Microsoft might have been trying to discourage use of Windows on tablets outside of its native support. The iPad app and its matching Android version don't match a native PC in speed, but are fast and capable enough for basic tasks like Office and desktop web browsing. More probable are Microsoft's concerns that just a few Windows 7 copies might be serving thousands of users. [via Brian Madden]

By Electronista Staff


  1. que_ball

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2000


    Probably some sales guys confusion

    I can imagine what happened.

    I bet some MS sales droid told them they can use the user license for server in order to get the big deal signed without clearing it with the legal department. Onlive was probably filling out their SPLA reports and paying for the usage, it's just that the fine print in the legal agreement says thats it's for virtual desktop use of the server and not the windows 7 client edition code.

    As long as they are trying to pay Microsoft it's not going to be much of a problem. Just in this case Microsoft doesn't sell what they wanted. Just not an option offered in the current service provider licensing system. It was speculated that Onlive could be a big enough deal for Microsoft to have made a special agreement but I guess it was just some confusion.

    Hard to blame them. MS licensing is nearly impossible to figure out sometimes. Too many restrictions and special versions of licesning.

    MS license programs:
    Open License
    Open Value upfront
    Open Value spread payment
    Open Value Subscription upfront
    Open Value Subscription spread payment
    Open Value company wide
    Open value subscription company wide
    Service Provider Licensing (This is what Onlive uses)
    Select Plus
    Enterprise Agreement
    Enterprise Subscription Agreement

    Most of these programs are available in

    And you can choose
    License only
    License with Software Assurance

    And adding software assurance under some programs gives you additional rights for moving the software between virtual servers any time you like or only once in a 90 day period.

    Do you need an extra license for a hot spare? Cold spare?

    Are your users Employees, contractors, anonymous, authenticated, paying you for access or is the access to your server given freely?
    Do you want to license the number of users, the number of devices, or the number of processors used in your server?


    I always get a chuckle when I read some MS marketing material that describes their licensing programs as simple or easy. Yeah, the individual programs aren't that terrible (besides the cost) compared to volume licensing of some competitors but the sheer number of options and choices blows the whole simple and easy part away.

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