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OnLive's Perlman Details Cloud-Based Web Browser Plans

Streaming game service OnLive plans to release a completely cloud-based web browser later this summer, focused on bringing faster speeds and features like Flash to lower-powered devices like tablets and older computers.
Streaming game service OnLive plans to release a completely cloud-based web browser later this summer, focused on bringing faster speeds and features like Flash to lower-powered devices like tablets and older computers. Much like OnLive's gaming offerings, the planned browser will run remotely on OnLive's powerful servers, loading pages more quickly than less powerful local hardware, then sending a live image of the resulting page to the user over the internet. OnLive has demonstrated this kind of remote web browsing functionality at trade shows in the past, but in a new interview with OnLiveFans.com, CEO Steve Perlman offered more specifics on how the browser would work at its planned late Summer launch. "The main thing [the browser] is focused on allowing people to do, because we are an entertainment service, is going to be entertainment; things like video, and games, and stuff like that," Perlman said, adding that plugins like Flash, QuickTime and Windows Media would be some of the first supported. Rather than offer a full-featured browser that aimed to fully replace locally run options, Perlman sees the cloud browser as an option "that accelerates things that are tough to do with a local browser." That said, Perlman warned the company would have to be cautious in allowing other sites that run "arbitrary code," both for performance and security reasons. "We don’t want it to be a launch pad for someone to go and have a website that turns into a giant spam site that sends out millions of spam messages through our 10 Gigabit connection," he said. "We have to be a little bit cautious in what we allow." Current plans would not require a paid OnLive subscription to access the browser, but Perlman said that could change if people are not reasonable about their usage. "For example, it provides Flash capabilities to iPad, you can easily see how people can go and just ... forget the game service and just use it for that," he said. "What we’re going to do is kind of monitor it, and see what kind of demographic and usage we have."

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