Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider
The OnLive Desktop app allows you to enjoy all the familiar comforts of running Windows and popular apps like Microsoft office on your iPad.In other words, by downloading this app you are now downloading Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint onto your iPad where you can create and work on documents in any of these formats.
OnLive is able to bring you this service through their cloud computing technology where powerful PCs running Windows remotely deliver the Windows touch experience to your iPad.
Click here to see photos of OnLive for iPad >
No doubt the technology behind it is impressive. OnLive has given us a glimpse of the future while at the same time proving how powerful tablet devices can be.
The question for me however, was not whether the app is great, but whether it’s necessary. By that I mean, do I want the power to build Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents on my iPad given keyboard and touch screen limitations? If I need to do something that requires this much utility wouldn’t I just use my desktop computer or laptop?
For me, the answer to the latter question was yes. I played around with the OnLive Desktop and I have to say, seeing the familiar UI of a Windows desktop was pretty cool. But there was no value beyond that.
This may be for a few reasons. For example, I signed up for the free, standard service plan, which only gives you access to the multi-touch desktop, 2 GB of cloud storage, and Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
If you sign up for the OnLive Desktop Plus for $4.99 a month, you get all those amenities plus a full Flash browser, much faster browsing speed, and more access to cloud storage and web email.
That’s right, you will get faster Internet speeds, Flash, and everything that comes with Windows on the iPad. It’s functions like this that have gadget reviewers like David Pogue so excited about the OnLive Desktop.
If you are an iPad power user looking to have Flash, Windows, Office, and a speedier Internet experience on your iPad, then the $5 upgrade sounds like a good deal. Otherwise, your iPad should suit you fine just as it is.