Guess what? Your iPad can already run Windows, Office, and Internet Explorer with a little known app from OnLive. You don’t even need to own a PC to run a PC on the iPad.
Windows Everywhere? Even In iPad
There once was a time when Microsoft declared that Windows Everywhere was the corporate mantra. Every computing device would feature a version of Windows (whether it was any good or not; can you say Windows CE?).
Those days are gone and Microsoft is playing catch up to the iPhone and iPad Gravy Train.
New Microsoft Windows-based tablets are on the horizon, as is the latest update to Windows (the most shockingly different to date).
In the meantime, iPad users have an option to run Windows 7 with OnLive, a service which lets your iPad connect to their servers which run Windows, Office (or part of it), and Internet Explorer.
OnLive takes over your whole iPad screen and shuttles pieces of Windows, Office, MSIE, and utilities back and forth over the internet (a fast internet connection is a plus).
The OnLive app brings Windows to the iPad, which is both good and bad. The good is that you can create, edit, and view Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, browse the web in Internet Explorer and feel the power of Windows on your iPad’s screen.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that OnLive literally stuffs Windows and Office into your iPad’s much smaller screen.
Even worse, Windows 7 just isn’t made for touch navigation using your finger. In fact, the experience, though usable, is uncomfortably clumsy at best.
Unfortunately, you cannot find and download additional Windows applications to run on OnLive. What you see is what you get.
Windows 7. Word. Excel. PowerPoint. Internet Explorer. And a few other Windows utilities.
OnLive on your iPad is a good way to experience videos on Windows, check out how websites appear on Internet Explorer, and use Office’s major apps.
There’s a built-in pop up keyboard (somewhat similar to the keyboard on the iPad) to enter text. Otherwise, navigation is fingertip, and Windows buttons are not conducive to a good fingertip experience.
The OnLive iPad app is free but to connect to OnLive’s Windows Server you’ll have to pay a few dollars a month. Is it worth it? If you’re truly deeply interested in having access to a Windows PC from your iPad, yes.