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 not

 ‘Nuff said.

Well Onlive raised the profile, but not … well

A couple of weeks ago the New York times posted an article praising the arrival of the Onlive Desktop on iPad; the gist of the article was that for the first time, a full Windows7 desktop was available on an Apple device and that the Onlive solution was quote “seamless and fairly amazing”.

This was news to us because we’ve been using Windows on an iPad since .. well .. the iPad1 was launched in 2010. In fact, even before that we had Windows on iPhones via our virtual desktop service and a clever piece of client software called the Citrix Receiver. So, all in all, the claim to uniqueness was a fairly bold one.

Not only that, but the Onlive experience isn’t that great; with only limited integration between the device and the desktop – in fact you can read what a more cautious Computerworld reviewer said about it here.

Our message to iPad (or Android) business users would be, Onlive is not the best or the only experience available for you. The truth is, you get what you pay for and their desktop is … free. If you’d like to try out a commercial alternative then get in touch.


Virtual Desktop and B.Y.O.D. – as safe as it gets.

According to a new report, more than 60% of Federal Agencies have a “bring your own device” (B.Y.O.D.) policy for their employees, with more than 44% of Federal Employees already using their own devices at work – claiming it makes them more productive.

In part, a response to a 2011 Executive Order to Agencies to limit the number of devices that are issued to employees, the new report shows that more and more sensitive data is now being accessed and stored on devices that are outside Federal Control. Only slightly less than 30% of the respondents claim to have a mobile device management solution in place to handle remote wipe/lock of lost or stolen devices – raising the spectre of data falling into in appropriate hands.

Much of that risk can be reduced, by the use of Virtual Desktop or Hosted Application technology, since this does not store any data on the device being used to access the Federal Systems.  Communication between the data centres and the device are encrypted using SSL and with the addition of three-factor authentication the employee device can be as secure as anything issued by the Employer.

For more information about Virtual Desktops and why they are the future of IT delivery, contact us


Citrix xenapp enables virtual desktop on tablets

Underpinning the entrustIT hosted desktop range is Citrix XenApp; developments in the connection technologies provided by Citrix have enabled entrust to make all our virtual Desktop products available for tablet users, including :

  • iPad & iPad2
  • Samsung Galaxy
  • Motorola Zoom
  • Blackberry Playbook

The good news is that for existing customers, the only step required is to download the appropriate Citrix Receiver from the App Store for your device of choice. Point the device at and enter your credentials and that’s all that’s required.

The beauty of this is that you can get a fully functional Windows Hosted Desktop, with all the application software you need – on almost any operating system (iOS, Android, BB). Couple it to a 3G connected device and you truly are completely mobile.

Citrix Xenapp