OnLive Desktop Plus launches; super-fast IE9 for iPad

In January, OnLive, best known for their streaming PC gaming service, launched the free OnLive Desktop app for Apple's iPad. That app allowed users access to a number of Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) that are run via OnLive's cloud-based servers, along with 2 GB of storage. Now OnLive is providing users with a second tier of service that adds more features.

The company has now launched OnLive Desktop Plus which cost $4.99 a month. For that price, users can now gain access to Internet Explorer 9, again running on OnLive's cloud servers. OnLive says that because of its gigabit-based connections, people who run IE9 via OnLive Desktop Plus will get "by far the world's fastest mobile browsing experience, if not the fastest consumer browsing experience available on any device."

IE9 on OnLive Desktop Plus also supports Flash which means that iPad owners will finally be able to see and interact with Flash-based web sites. It will also help with downloading or uploading files via services like Dropbox or email attachments via Hotmail. Onlive states:

A 50 megabyte file from cloud storage (e.g., Dropbox) or a 15 megabyte attachment from Web email (e.g., Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, etc.) can literally download or upload in less than a second, resulting in an utterly transformative Web experience.

In addition both the free and the paid Desktop services now support Adobe Reader. OnLive still plans to launch OnLive Desktop Pro later this year for $9.99 a month. It will add 50 GB of cloud storage along with support for users to store their own apps on OnLive's cloud services. The app should also be made available for other platforms (iPhone, Android, Windows PC, Mac) sometime later.

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