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Windows Server 2008 works fine for delivering unmanaged desktops to consumers, but OnLive will find the corporate market a much tougher nut to crack, according to Ward. Using Windows Server 2008 doesn't work as well for enterprises that need to manage desktops and deal with application compatibility challenges, he added.
"It's the classic issue of your desktop living in one place and you apps and data living somewhere else which leads to a very bad user experience," Ward said. "You're essentially back to a client based VPN over the Internet, or a slow WAN link scenario -- unless OnLive plans to also host user data and applications."
In spite of the challenges, OnLive says its compatibility with all versions of Windows and Linux, and its cost advantages over existing remoting technologies, will prove a powerful lure for businesses.
"The change in the corporate world will be tectonic," the OnLive spokesperson said. "When you see the names with [tens] of thousands of remote seats that are dropping remoting technology they've been using for over a decade for OnLive, that will be the big news."