UPDATE: February 24, 2012
I was using Internet Explorer via OnLive last night and the speed was so fast I decided to see if I could get quantification for download and upload speeds for the Plus service.  I couldn’t get my old favorite, Speakeasy, to load on OnLive, but I was able to get Speedtest.net to work and here are the results:  An astonishing 88.05Mbps down and a fantastical 70.72Mbps up.  Now that’s some fast internet!  NYU slowly turns green

Today, I just shelled out my first $5.00USD monthly fee for OnLive Desktop Plus for my iPad 2.  I decided to go the money route for OnLive Desktop Plus to get priority access because the free version is incredibly slow and monotonous.  I also wanted to see just how fast the Internet Explorer 9 interface was on the iPad going through the OnLive Desktop Plus backend.

First, I logged into the Onlive website from my Mac so I could upgrade to the new service.

Then, I fired up my iPad and tried to login.  I received an error message that I had to logout and then login again and everything would be better.  I did just that and was tossed out and told to visit an online support URL via my Mac.  I paid $5 for this?  What’s next?  The OnLive Desktop Blue Screen of Death?  I visited the provided URL but there was nothing there to help me.  Back to the iPad.

After a few more failed attempts at logging in from my iPad, the “upgraded” interface finally decided to render and I was pleased to see new icons on my desktop for Adobe Reader and Internet Explorer.  The basic interface felt faster and quicker even though “mousing around” with my fingertip was still an exercise is missed precision.

The first thing I did was fire up Internet Explorer.  The browser is incredibly fast on my iPad 2 but the images are low resolution, chalky and, when you scroll, the images tear.  Not great looking — but as a 100% Mac user — I do appreciate having easy access now to MSFT’s browser just in case I need to visit, or check, a website in that standard Windows web browser.

Having Adobe on my iPad also rocks.

Microsoft Word is, of course, still here.  Now if only the OnLive Desktop keyboard were more facile and usable.  The click-delay between touching a key and having the character actually appear on screen is an undeniably fulsome nag.

I’m surprised as a paying user that I don’t get more storage space than the free users.  2 gigs isn’t much of anything — let alone enough space to begin to proactively use OnLive Desktop with my iPad.  I’m sure OnLive wants me to eventually bump up my plan to the Pro version for $10.00 USD when it becomes available just so I can get a more reasonable 50 gigs of bang for my file storage buck.

I guess $5 a month only gets you a bit more interactive speed and the internet and nothing more physical.

With the rumor of Microsoft Office heading to the iPad in a week or two, I’m not sure if I’ll remain an OnLive Desktop user.  Having a native version of Office running locally on my iPad will mean the suite will run faster and better and I can use the iPad keyboard and not the virtual one found in OnLive Desktop.  We live in exciting moments of clarity!

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