Licensing Office on an iPad or Android Tablet

There’s been some speculation recently about whether it’s possible to deliver a Windows/Office experience on tablets and still remain properly licensed. The main reason for the speculation has been the launch of the Onlive Desktop (note the spelling!) which seemed to provide exactly that, at no cost.

Microsoft have been strangely quiet on the subject until recently when in a blog post yesterday Joe Matz (VP of Worldwide Licensing) expressed openly what we had suspected for several months :

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.

The same blogpost made it clear that there is only one way to deliver Office on mobile devices that are running an underlying OS other than Windows :

Office may only be provided as a service if it is hosted on Windows Server and Remote Desktop Services

So that’s it. Virtual Desktop providers can provide you with access to Windows & Office on your mobile device but we all use the legal licensing model that MS describe above. Hosted Desktop providers (like us) declare your license use monthly to MS and pay them a fee which is why commercial hosted desktop systems are not free. 

So, if you want commercially delivered, properly licensed, Microsoft Windows and Office on your tablet (of any type) then you need http://www.onlinedesktop.com not www.onlive.com.

 ‘Nuff said.

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