OnLive, a company that recently began offering hosted Windows and Office software remotely from its servers to iPad and Android tablet users, is in violation of Microsoft licensing rules.
"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," wrote Joe Matz, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Worldwide Licensing and Pricing, in a blog post
OnLive's Desktop and Desktop Plus are cloud services available for the iPad. According to Onlive, they offers its subscribers "a seamless Windows desktop experience and full-featured Office applications," as described by the company.
The analyst firm Gartner had raised questions regarding the compliance of these services last week, warning IT managers that it was unclear whether OnLive Desktop complies with Microsoft licensing agreements and to take precautionary steps before allowing employees to use it.
According to Matz, Microsoft's customers can have a partner host Windows 7 in a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure for them, as long as they have licensed the software directly from Microsoft. "
Another valid scenario allows partners that have entered into the Services Provider License Agreement to provide some functionality to any customer, even those that haven't licensed the software directly from Microsoft. The software involved is Windows Server and Remote Desktop Services.
However, Microsoft's partners aren't allowed to provide Windows 7 as a hosted client or Office as a service through Windows 7.