Uh Oh: Microsoft Is Unhappy with OnLive Desktop

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Harry McCracken /

OnLive Desktop turns Windows 7 into a speedy Web service that runs on iPads and Android tablets. It’s both an impressive technical feat and just plain useful. But at least one Windows expert isn’t so thrilled with it: Microsoft.

As ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley is reporting, the Windows maker has blogged about OnLive Desktop and OnLive Desktop Plus, and its stance seems to be that by offering server-hosted Windows and Office to anyone who signs up, OnLive is violating Microsoft’s software licensing agreements:

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.

I don’t have a stance on whether OnLive Desktop should be kosher under Microsoft’s licensing arrangements. But it would sure be a shame if legal issues knocked the service off the market. I assume that its creators gave thought to questions of licenses before they launched it — and I hope they have a backup plan in place that will keep it going no matter what.

(MORE: OnLive Desktop Plus: Windows at Its Speedy Best — on Your iPad)