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How to get started with OnLive Desktop for Android tablets

If you're not satisfied with the Microsoft Office alternatives for Android tablets, OnLive Desktop might be right up your alley. We'll show you how to get started.

OnLive Desktop Android app

OnLive Desktop is essentially a virtual Windows 7 desktop with access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Adobe Reader. It's available for the Apple iPad and select Android tablets in Standard and Plus versions, with a Pro version coming later. We'll go over the free, OnLive Desktop Standard for Android tablets in this tutorial.

To get started with OnLive Desktop for Android tablets, you'll first need to create an account from OnLive's Web site. Unfortunately, you can't just create an account from within the app.

After installing the app from the Android Market, log in to the OnLive Desktop app from your Android tablet. You'll see the virtual Windows 7 desktop and shortcuts to the Office programs.

OnLive Desktop for Android
OnLive Desktop on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

Using the virtual keyboard or a physical Bluetooth keyboard, create and save new files to the documents folder.

Save OnLive Desktop files
Screenshot by Ed Rhee/CNET

Once OnLive Desktop has synchronized the files, you can download them by logging in to You can also upload files to your OnLive Desktop storage from the same site.

That's it. The Android version of OnLive Desktop not only supports Bluetooth keyboards, but Bluetooth mice (left-click only) as well. Also keep in mind that OnLive Desktop for Android is currently only supported on the Acer Iconia Tab A500, ASUS Eee TF101, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1, and HTC Jetstream.