Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Miniature OSes let you perform tasks without booting your PC

Unless you've got a blazing fast computer, it probably takes you a while to boot up your system. And even with the latest technology and the latest versions of Windows, OS X, or your favorite Linux distribution, odds are that your PC isn't ready for web surfing or watching movies until a few minutes after you press the power button.

But why do you need to load your complete operating system if all you want to do is watch a movie? Several companies are developing systems that let you perform tasks on a PC without booting up. What makes the magic happen is a tiny little operating system built right into the motherboard.

Phoenix Technologies is working on a miniature operating system called HyperSpace that loads in just 4 seconds. And we're not just talking about a firmware trick that lets you load DVD playing software. HyperSpace is a complete, but tiny operating system. It lets you launch Firefox and other full blown desktop applications. And it runs while your computer is loading. In other words, you can start surfing the web just a few seconds after turning your computer on, while Windows XP or Vista loads in the background.

Meanwhile, Asus seems to have similar goals in mind with its Linux-based SplashTop platform.

Via (Engadget.)

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