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CES: OnLive's 'sneaky truth'
CES: OnLive's 'sneaky truth' Exclusive
January 10, 2012 | By Kris Graft

It might seem odd that cloud gaming company OnLive, known best for its video game efforts, would seemingly all of a sudden turn to business and productivity software, with the announcement that it would stream Microsoft's Windows to iPad and other connected devices through the OnLive Desktop app.

But in reality, OnLive’s just coming full circle. Company CEO Steve Perlman told Gamasutra at CES in Las Vegas this week that the OnLive Desktop is “not a major new effort,” necessarily.

“So here’s the sneaky truth," he explained. "We launched the first version of [OnLive] Desktop white-labeled with Autodesk, before we launched the games service, as sort of a pilot."

The strategy sheds a bit more light on why Autodesk is one of OnLive's major investors. "They were using it with Autodesk Labs, so you could go and try out the next year’s version of these very high-end visualization applications. … It was a good thing for us try out in stealth mode the OnLive games service in the real world, before we released it for gaming, which obviously has much more extreme demands.”

But in the end, OnLive’s business is still mainly focused on games, he said. “It’s still mostly games, in the sense that that’s what we’re set up to do. We’ve always had Windows running on most of these servers. So what we’re doing is now exposing the desktop that’s underneath all these games.”

Gamasutra will have more from Perlman tomorrow, as well as David Perry, head of streaming game firm Gaikai.

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