But Microsoft's software licensing doesn't allow cloud providers to stream Windows -- instead, Microsoft requires every device using Windows 7 to have a license. That would have forced OnLive to make all its iPad customers buy Windows 7 before they could use its free service or its $5/month premium service.
OnLive has now replaced Windows 7 with the desktop version of Windows Server 2008 R2, multiple sources say. That's the form of Windows that Microsoft says is OK for cloud desktop vendors to use.
Some users have said that this new desktop isn't as nice as the forbidden version of Windows 7. The most notable feature to go missing is handwriting recognition, which is a particular bummer for tablet users. But other than that, Windows Server on the desktop otherwise looks surprisingly like Windows 7.
OnLive won't officially comment on the licensing snafu. But it claims it's signing up "literally, millions of seats," for the enterprise version, says OnLIve spokesperson Brian Jaquet. He says the company will soon announce "names with tens of thousands of remote seats that are dropping remoting technology they've been using for over a decade for OnLive," Jaquet says.
We'll be watching to see if OnLive is really going to be an enterprise desktop game changer.