This week, cloud computing company OnLive will expand beyond video games with the launch of a new iPad app that allows users to stream a cloud-based version of Windows 7 directly to their tablet.
This announcement is a major shift for the company, which has historically focused on streaming high-end PC games to remote devices such as laptops, smartphones, and even dedicated OnLive MicroConsoles
With the new Onlive Desktop app, users will be able to stream to their iPad a handful of Windows 7 applications, including Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as a handful of utilities and touch-control games.
"OnLive Desktop is the first app to deliver a no-compromise, media-rich Windows desktop experience to iPad, opening up powerful new possibilities for consumers and businesses," said OnLive founder and CEO Steve Perlman.
"iPad users will now be able to simply and securely view and edit cloud-hosted documents with full-featured Windows desktop applications like Microsoft Office, just as if they were using a local high-performance PC."
The app will be available for free this Thursday on the iTunes App Store, and all users will receive 2GB of cloud storage to save their documents and media.
OnLive says it will eventually debut the subscription-based OnLive Desktop Pro, which will provide 50GB of cloud storage, additional applications, and several other unannounced features for $9.99 per month -- with an OnLive Enterprise version available for businesses and organizations.
Thus far, OnLive has not specified whether any of these tiered services will allow users to install and play games as one would with a standard Windows PC.
After the app's iPad debut, OnLive plans to bring it to other platforms, including Android tablets, smartphones, PC, Mac, and OnLive MicroConsoles.
Just last month, OnLive brought its game streaming service to Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play
, further expanding the company's reach across numerous online-enabled devices.