We never thought we’d see the day, but Microsoft’s Windows 7 OS is now available to iPad owners after cloud gaming service OnLive has designed and readied an app for Apple’s market-leading tablet that allows you to use the PC giant’s first operating system partly designed for use with touch-screens. To accommodate the iPad’s touch controls even further, the user-interface has been tweaked to allow for pinch-to-zoom and flick-to-scroll controls.
The app opens up a variety of Windows programs to the user, including Excel and Word, and gives 2Gb of cloud storage to save work entirely free of charge. More storage is available (50Gb) at a cost to those who want more from the generous 2 gig of free cloud-based memory, while it is said that paying for the service (at $9.99/around £6.50 a month) will also grant ‘faster browsing’ and the ability to install your own apps. The app has so far been delayed in the UK by a day or two but should be available from the iTunes App Store in due course.
Quite possibly a sign of things to come then from Windows 8, which is due out later this year and largely tablet-orientated in its cut-corners design style – see our preview of Microsoft’s latest OS. It’s a tremendous leap for OnLive and its wholly impressive cloud-streaming technology. Since officially launching in 2009, the company has so far been bound by trying to establish its cloud gaming service. With that particular venture finding its feet, the partnership with Microsoft seems to be opening up new doors. Quite how Microsoft is benefiting from the joining (beyond licensing income) is a little harder to read – will the availability of Microsoft Office on the iPad negate the demand for Windows-enabled tablets? Only time will tell...