OnLive Announces Free iPad App To Access A Cloud-Based Windows Desktop

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The same company that brought top-shelf game titles to the Mac is soon planning to bring many of those same games to the iPad. Today, though, OnLive has announced an app that lets you view and use Windows 7 applications on your iPad. It’s free, and it’ll hit the App Store this Thursday.

The app will come with 2 GB of cloud storage space for free, and grant access to a cloud-based Windows 7 desktop equipped with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, with some utilities and touch-based games thrown in for good measure.

The interface sounds pretty wow. Control will be achieved through a full on-screen Windows keyboard and handwriting recognition, augmented with common iPad gestures like pinch-to-zoom, and flick-to-scroll.

OnLive claims a seamless experience free of hiccups:

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.

There’re also rich collaboration features built into the app at the Pro and Enterprise levels (see below) — live spectating, group chat and multi-user control.

OnLive Desktop Pro, not available yet, will come with 50 GB of cloud storage, “priority access” additional apps and other features for $10 a month. The Enterprise version is geared toward groups with a large infrastructure and doesn’t come with a set price (OnLive says you can contact them at enterprise@onlive.com for details and pricing).

The app is only available in the U.S., with a U.K. release to follow soon.