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Cloud gaming firm OnLive released a free version of its Windows 7 desktop for iPad in January, enabling iPad users to access a virtual Windows 7 desktop on their tablets and run Microsoft Office applications Word, Excel and PowerPoint -- the full-fledged desktop versions. Now the company is expanding upon this by adding support for Adobe Reader to its free plan and introducing a new $4.99 per month OnLive Desktop Plus subscription that throws Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser into the mix.
Although the addition of Internet Explorer may seem strange when there's a perfectly capable Safari browser built into the iPad, the advantage here is you can use IE to access Adobe Flash content that would otherwise be unavailable on Apple's tablet. With OnLive Desktop Plus you can also access web services such as Dropbox, Gmail, and Google Docs while staying inside OnLive's Windows 7 environment with "gigabit-speed" uploads and downloads through OnLive's powerful servers.
Gizmodo got some hands-on time with Desktop Plus and found it to be quite snappy and glitch free for the most part -- Hulu video playback wasn't synced to the audio at one point. Check the video below:
The company is also working on a more advanced Desktop Pro version that ups storage limits from 2GB to 50GB, gives users the ability to download additional PC apps, and provides priority access to their servers. It will be available for $9.99 a month. OnLive collaborative services, including live desktop spectating and desktop sharing with voice chat for small groups or thousands of simultaneous users, are also planned.
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