SOFTWARE LICENSING OUTFIT Microsoft has called out cloud-rendering service Onlive over its plans to offer remote Windows desktops.
Last week Onlive launched its Desktop service that brought fully functional Windows 7 desktops to several Android tablets for a monthly fee. At the time there were questions over whether Onlive's service operates within the terms of Microsoft's licensing, and now it seems Onlive might have stepped on Microsoft's toes.
Joe Matz, corporate VP of Worldwide Licensing and Pricing at Microsoft said those firms that offer remote desktop functionality in the way that Onlive does with its Desktop service need to sign a Microsoft's Services Provider License Agreement. Matz said, "We are actively engaged with OnLive with the hope of bringing them into a properly licensed scenario, and we are committed to seeing this issue is resolved."
Although Matz talked about Microsoft's attempt to give firms clear guidance on licensing, a number of comments left on his blog posting left little doubt in the uncertainties that exist, thanks to the multitude of licenses Microsoft uses to keep its revenue stream flowing.
Onlive's biggest problem is that its service attacks Microsoft's own hosted Office service. While Microsoft's licensing structure is unlikely to stop Onlive's efforts to use its cloud rendering service to provide Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office, it could significantly raise prices to a point where it is not a viable business proposition. µ
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