back to article Microsoft talking turkey with OnLive over Office to iPad

Microsoft has said it is "actively engaged" in discussions over licensing terms with OnLive over its service streaming Office to iPads. OnLive is one of a range of companies offering the ability for owners of the world's most popular fondleslab to use Office documents via VDI. Microsoft has so far remained quiet on its plans …


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  1. David Webb

    Let it grow and take a cut would probably be the preferred option, saves MS having to bring out their own service, they can just get a licence fee per seat from OnLive, of course, push too hard and you run the risk of OnLive switching to an open source product which is compatible with Office but then if OnLive don't play ball MS can bring out a service for free to strangle it.

  2. Big-nosed Pengie

    Office on an iPad

    'The unspeakable in hot pursuit of the uneatable."

  3. P. Lee


    We can't charge it as an office-only license for OnLive or we'll see a massive migration away from windows clients, but if we charge windows+office license fees, no-one will use it.

    We'll have to tie it down to be (i)OS-specific.

    Hooray for the Web!

  4. Mikel

    Ubuntu and Open Office

    This will sort it out. They can offer the title and not only not pay, but save on server resources as well. So Microsoft will come around, or they won't. Either way I'm going to keep using the service.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Ubuntu and Open Office

      Offering 'real' Office is one of OnLive's USPs in my view, they really need to hold onto that because if they switch to Libre/Open, iPad users might as well just get a local app or use gdocs.

      I'm rather surprised MS don't want to make their own service though. I suppose Not Invented Here is more a Google thing but even so...

  5. Gordon 10


    The iPad already has dozens of office suites with ms compatability and with UI's built for touch and cloud storage support.

    If I'm desparate to use office itself I can pay a one off fee for LogMeIn or similar to use the office installed on my desktop or laptop again which have UI's that help manage the touch to WIMP conversion.

    Why on earth would I use Onlive at £5 a month?

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Baffled

      There are just too many people out there which are in "office or nothing mode" of operandi for a variety of reasons.

      The most common one is when some dolt has concocted a "business model" or other "essential business tool" in excel + excel basic and has made it to be the only way to complete specific tasks in the company. The aforementioned ingenious "tool" has had no formal testing, no routine has had unit testing and tends to return 2+2=5 for a set of sufficiently big values of 2. None the less. the company future is decided and guided using said tool(s). Though shall not question the gospel of business models in excel because the gods of business strategy and development shall smite you down for your insubordination.

      Ever tried loading one of those in a "compatible" office suite? Ever been smitten by an angry "minor deity" for questioning a business model in Excel? Based on your post - probably not.

      As far as using Onlive for £5 a month... Well, for office.. Meh... But for other things while being able to get the company to subsidise both the iPad and Onlive... Hm... As Lazarus Long used to say - yield to temptation, it may never come your way again.

  6. GitMeMyShootinIrons

    Microsoft bureaucracy...

    The server side of Microsoft seems to have no problem with licensing server products and applications for SaaS solutions.

    Only a massive (or public sector) organisation can have such a bureaucratic mess that this pretty reasonable approach on one set of products appears to be opposed by an overly defensive approach for desktop products.

    Microsoft need to adapt quickly, or find themselves at best squeezed out of DaaS, or maybe even in a court case that they neither want or need.

  7. Keep Refrigerated

    Beginning of the end?

    We're starting to see certain business models come unstuck when it comes to the versatility and scalability of open source OS's, versus having to negotiate a new license every time someone comes up with a novel way to access the desktop.

    Will Microsoft be able to navigate a way though this flexible new world where they have lost much influence and therefore their grip on the market?

    Never mind the fact OnLive has made Office available on iPad and Android - there's likely only a modest amount of interest (corporate non-techies) and if this is not handled very carefully by Microsoft, they could easily kill that burgeoning interest as people adopt the 'good enough' attitude to alternative office suites.

    It seems to be the only way they can compete fast enough is to try to bully and license other people's innovations... how long before those licensing fees become the largest income segment and are therefore not enough to keep funding R&D?

    For what it's worth I downloaded it with my Android tablet and gave it a whiz. Well polished and almost zero lag, but since I don't bother with Office documents on my tablet I struggled to think of something to do with it. I tend to only need to open the odd document for reading not editing, therefore Google Docs and native apps are 'good enough'.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Beginning of the end?

      What R&D? Thats just fluff to impress the shareholders and lower the tax bill. To win at this game you only need to find small companies with innovative ideas or products you can sue out of business and then take their stuff for free.

  8. Paul Thompson 1

    Online Office

    Why not match pricing up with Office365?

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