Nivio, a startup provider of virtualization solutions, has taken an undisclosed investment from AMD to help it work on its ambition of making virtual Windows XP desktops accessible from any web-enabled PC through a browser.

Giuseppe Amato, AMD's European technical sales and marketing director, said that the investment was part of his company's initiative to bring Internet & IT access to 50 percent of the world's population by 2015.

Nivio is also working closely with software makers to offer customers monthly subscription plans to use a range of applications of their choice. The service has been available free of charge in private beta-testing mode for the past 18 months, but the monthly subscription service is reportedly expected to cost $7.99 for students and $12.99 for other users, once it launches commercially. In addition, the company also plans to offer other operating systems including Vista, Linux and Mac OS X.

Nivio is shortly set to launch in both the UK and India, where the company says it has already proven popular with students who don't own PCs but do have access to Internet cafes.