iPad productivity gets a shot in the arm courtesy of OnLive’s Windows 7 app

OnLive, architects of a burgeoning cloud-based game service that renders demanding titles remotely and beams them to gamers, announced that its latest effort will deliver to iPad users a “no compromise Windows 7 experience,” for free.

Not to be confused with existing remote desktop applications, which tap into a user’s PC, the company said its forthcoming OnLive Desktop app, due Thursday, will host popular Windows applications in the cloud. iPad users need only download the app to have “full access to Windows 7 applications including Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint” from their tablets.

In a press release, available below, OnLive said the app will support multi-touch gestures, offer an on-screen keyboard and hand-writing recognition, and be capable of seamlessly handling anything a powerful PC could, including games and HD video.

So what’s the catch? There isn’t one, assuming you’re content with 2 GB of online storage and access to a limited number of programs. If that sounds a little too restrictive, you can spring for OnLive Desktop Pro, which promises a 50GB locker and even more apps for $9.99 a month.

OnLive’s press release:

Palo Alto, CA – January 9, 2012 – OnLive, Inc., the pioneer of instant-action cloud computing, announced that it is bringing the first no-compromise Windows desktop to iPad® through its free OnLive™ Desktop app, available Thursday in the iTunes® App Store. OnLive Desktop provides instant access to full-featured, media-rich Windows 7 applications, including Microsoft® Word, Excel® and PowerPoint® software, remotely hosted on powerful PC servers in the cloud. Based upon OnLive’s instant-action cloud gaming technology, OnLive Desktop delivers a seamless Windows desktop experience, with instant-response multi-touch gestures, together with a full on-screen Windows keyboard and handwriting recognition, enabling complete and convenient viewing and editing of even the most complex documents. Rich media, such as video, animation, slide transitions and even PC games, never before practical via remote desktop delivery, run fluidly and dynamically with instant-action interactivity. OnLive Desktop makes remote feel local.

“OnLive Desktop is the first app to deliver a no-compromise, media-rich Windows desktop experience to iPad, opening up powerful new possibilities for consumers and businesses,” said Steve Perlman, OnLive Founder and CEO. “iPad users will now be able to simply and securely view and edit cloud-hosted documents with full-featured Windows desktop applications like Microsoft Office, just as if they were using a local high-performance PC. Multi-touch gestures respond instantly and smoothly, while HD videos, animations and PC video games—never before usable on a remote desktop—play seamlessly.”

The FREE* OnLive Desktop app comes with 2 GB of secure cloud storage and as-available access to a cloud-based Windows 7 desktop pre-populated with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, plus several utilities and touch games. Using instant-response touch gestures such as pinch and zoom, flick to scroll, drag, drop and Aero snap, users can quickly and easily navigate files, open, edit and save the ones they need, and store them securely in the cloud for access from any device through a simple Web interface. PC apps have full desktop functionality: Word documents can be created and edited with full redline and commenting capability, using a full Windows touch-screen keyboard, handwriting recognition or Bluetooth keyboard. PowerPoint presentations can be created with rich graphics, videos and animated slide transitions, and even presented directly from the iPad, either onscreen or via an external monitor.  Data can be updated and analyzed instantly in Excel, translated into graphs and transferred into presentation documents. With OnLive Desktop, work is now possible anywhere you have an iPad and Internet connectivity, with the immediacy, functionality and responsiveness of a local PC.

The Free OnLive Desktop app for iPad is just the tip of the iceberg. Android®, smartphones, PC, Mac® and monitor/TV support (via the OnLive MicroConsole™ thin client with Bluetooth keyboard/mouse) are coming soon, with your same OnLive Desktop available by login from any device. Your OnLive Desktop can be accessed anywhere, on any device, at any resolution.

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