Pheonix jumps into HyperSpace

November 6, 2007 | 16:42

Tags: #bios #boot #hyperspace #load #phoenix #time #windows

Phoenix who? Chances are you've used one of its products before, seeing as many motherboards use a Phoenix BIOS. Now the same company has announced HyperSpace, which is meant to dramatically reduce boot times by cutting Windows out of the equation. Instead of waiting minutes to get into a Windows desktop, users can now skip the process and get access to a range of useful applications within seconds.

We've already seen the same technology from Splashtop and Asus with its embedded Linux on the Asus P5E3 Deluxe WiFi AP@n that gives users Firefox and Skype without booting an OS. Phoenix promises this to be more open though, allowing OEMs and ODMs more customisation. Depending on what type of PC is being sold, different sets of programs could be loaded for students, home users, workstations, business PCs, etc.

It won't replace your Windows installation and there's essentially meant to be a host and guest OS in a virtual environment - finally all those virtual management performance updates from the latest batches of CPUs will become useful!

The intent is for a user to be able to run a limited number of programs that benefit from being in a Linux environment - like anti virus, for example. You'd be able to scan your hard drive before even getting into Windows, and keeping it outside of Windows means that malware can't attack the virus scanner itself (as so many like to do).

However, those looking to customise it at home will probably be out of luck, as Phoenix plans on keeping the updates to HyperSpace close to home on secure servers rather than have people play around with it. This is a shame, as we could have seen a potentially fantastic home theatre PC for example - quick booting, remote-supporting media player that isn't limited by codecs and painful DRM.

The other limitation is whether us enthusiasts will be able to get it when just buying a motherboard, as all the current internet discussion is focusing on pre-built desktops and notebooks.

Wired has quote Microsoft as "outside (its) sphere of influence, and is not too happy with Phoenix's offering, which adds yet another voice to the already loud chorus of voices complaining about operating-system bloat." Bloated OS' = larger boot times? A statement of the obvious, I feel. Even technologies like ReadyBoost and SuperFetch don't seem to help Vista's performance nearly a year after it was released.

Is HyperSpace the way of the future, getting more people into Linux and having PCs that (finally) boot in seconds? Or it is just another idea that's good in theory but you'll never actually use it? After all, we already have the desktop and programs with the settings we like in one OS, so why do we have to use both? Are we that impatient? Tell us your thoughts on HyperSpace in our forums.
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