OnLive is facing some heat from Microsoft today. The company, which provides an application that allows users of Apple’s iPad and Google Android tablets to run a hosted Windows 7 environment on their tablets, is reportedly utilizing Microsoft’s software without the proper licenses in place.
In a blog post on Microsoft’s Volume Licensing blog, Corporate VP of Licensing Joe Matz outlined terms companies must abide by when they provide Windows virtualization, or virtual machines that run the Windows and Office environment. Mr. Matz’s post stated that Microsoft is actively working with OnLive to bring the company in compliance with Microsoft’s Licensing terms, and likely reassured its partners that the investigation into OnLive is being treated as an issue that Microsoft is taking seriously.
The issue was brought to light via a Gartner analysis dating back to February 29th, which called out the services potential licensing risks. For a small monthly fee per user, OnLive gave users access to a virtual Windows desktop running Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer 9. Per the virtualization licensing policy, providing access in this way requires end users (Onlive’s customers) to have valid license keys for these products.
As a result of the Gartner report (or, more likely, pressure from other partners/licensees), Microsoft decided to go public with news of the investigation into OnLive, and to find a way to bring OnLive into compliance. Over coming weeks, we expect OnLive will announce a licensing deal with Microsoft that will allow users of its service to continue using the OnLive Desktop service, though the move could raise prices above the current $4.99 per user fee schedule.
Here’s hoping OnLive and Micrsoft are able to come to terms fairly quickly, as the OnLive Desktop service is a potentially powerful tool for iPad and Android tablet users.