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Fully Functional Office 2010 on the iPad, for Free (plus 2 GB of storage) – Onlive Desktop


Onlive Desktop's free Office 2010 on the iPad is brilliantly conceived.

A couple weeks ago my son showed me Word 2010, the real thing, working on his iPad, and it didn't cost him a dime! A closer look revealed a fully functional virtual desktop, courtesy of Onlive Desktop. These folks had been using VD to deliver high end gaming experiences to less powerful computers for years, and are now extending this idea to deliver desktops to iPad users. Both simple and brilliant (like so many powerful ideas).

In this week's video post, we take a closer look on Onlive Desktop.

What Onlive Desktop has done is very cool, and they've been gaining fans quickly. Now the question is, can they keep up with the demand for their services? From time to time as I've worked with it, it has been bit slow or quirky. One time early on I was prompted for a registration license key (a one time glitch that did not reappear). A priority connection and some additional functionality are available for a monthly fee of $5, and for $10/mo., you can get 50 GB of storage (click here to learn more about their service plans).

The biggest drawback to Onlive Desktop is the fact that you have to use the virtual desktop keyboard – I find it slow for editing – I really have to take my time and key slowly. The biggest advantage, to me, is the fact that if I know I am going to want to be able to project or otherwise share an Office document on the iPad, and want to be sure it is going to be fully functional (especially with involved Excel worksheets, or the newer Transitions in PowerPoint 2010), I can rest assured that these will work. Additionally, if I want to do some last minute editing, or I just want the convenience of editing via the iPad, again, I know that I'll be able to do it.

Are any of you using this on a regular basis yet? Anyone sign up for the paid service? We'd love to hear about your experiences if you've tried this (or after you go check it out for yourself). Thanks!

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
Apple TV In The Classroom – The New Smart Board

Five Fun Free iPad Apps for Elementary School Teachers And Students

10 Excellent iPad Applications for Teachers


  1. Thanks Lorraine – yes, this is an app that requires connectivity (you are running a virtual desktop from a server). I’m quite surprised to hear that the paid service was slow, especially since the free service seems to have been okay so far (occassionally a little spotty, but usually fine). They got pretty swamped after a NY Times article a couple weeks ago and I think this led to some temporary performance issues.

  2. I signed up for the monthly service, and then cancelled it. It only works if you are in a wireless hotspot or you have 4G service, and most of the time I am out in the field in an area without 4G service. When it did work, it was very slow and frustrating. I hope it gets better as I was very excited to try it

  3. Thanks for the feedback Michael. I assume that when you say you don’t choose the touchpad keyboard, then you must use the stylus tool to draw letters that are then converted to text for entry? I don’t see any other way to enter text in to the documents. Am I missing something?

    By the way, I didn’t write that song (http://youtu.be/103y0dnsGKI) and don’t want to inadvertently take credit for something I didn’t create. It was written by Taylor Goldsmith.

  4. thanks for the song, you’re a great writer. I installed Onlive Desktop, fired up my blue tooth iPad keyboard (kensington) and it works fine. I just don’t choose the touchpad keyboard in the lower menu icon list. thanks for the idea.


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