OnLive Desktop Plus with Flash for iPad now in US, UK soon

OnLive Desktop Plus, the application that allows iPad owners to use a full Windows experience on their tablets, has now launched in the US, adding Flash and high-speed web browsing to the feature set on offer with the free version. And Pocket-lint has been told that the UK version is coming "very soon".

We took OnLive Desktop for a spin back at CES in January and were extremely impressed. However, on launch, none of the best features were included. With the free OnLive Desktop Standard, iPad owners can access Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and now Adobe Reader, plus get 2GB of cloud storage in the guise of a Documents folder.

OnLive Desktop Plus offers much more, with priority access (no more queuing until a server is free), and super-fast broadband, which you can use to browse or even download attachments from Webmail accounts. There's also Adobe Flash support and in-browser Acrobat PDF reading.

The new version costs $4.99 per month to use, but means you can watch any video on the internet, no matter the format. And as the internet connection is served at OnLive's end, not yours, it can be ridiculously fast. In our hands-on test in Vegas, we achieved download speeds of over 446Mbps, with uploads faring almost as well at over 300Mbps. Of course, you're downloading files on to the OnLive servers - into your cloud storage - and not on to your iPad, but the only thing you need worry about is having a fast enough connection at your end to ensure the remote desktop experience runs smoothly (around 2Mbps is recommended for best results).

As well as the UK version of the service, OnLive Desktop Pro is also imminent. That will cost $9.99 per month in the States and adds 50GB of online storage and the ability to install your own applications and software. There will be a further option, OnLive Enterprise, launching for businesses in the future too.

Currently, OnLive Desktop Plus and Standard are available in the US for the iPad only. But there are plans to bring them to Android, PC, Mac, TVs and monitors. It'll be the UK launch next on the agenda though.

As founder, president and CEO of OnLive, Steve Perlman told Pocket-lint: "Before we're completely ramped up with all the things shaking out, I expect we'll be in the UK.

"There is nothing about this that is difficult to deploy in the UK. We just load up the UK English version of Windows and Office and there you are, we're rolling," he said.

"But before we go to the UK, we need to study the performance dynamics and load dynamics so that we can load balance it properly. And then we'll release it to the UK." 

At this rate, it also seems likely that OnLive Desktop Plus and Standard will hit the UK before the iPad version of the OnLive Player gaming app. There is still no sign of Apple's official approval for that particular piece of software. OnLive does tell us, however, that it is still on the cards.



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