Booting Up In an Instant

DeviceVM, a Silicon Valley based startup company, has developed a new product that circumvents Windows’ long boot-up time. When integrated with common computer hardware, this tiny piece of software lets users choose between Windows and Splashtop, a faster, simpler operating system. DeviceVM’s software, which is based on the open-source operating system Linux, enables users to surf the Web or watch a DVD less than 20 seconds after turning on the computer, and, in some cases, within less than five seconds.
Splashtop a Rapid-Start Platform
ASUS (Splashtop) Express Gate
a Rapid-Start screen

Splashtop software is currently available with Asus’ computer hardware. DeviceVM recently teamed up with several other hardware manufacturers in order to further advance this technology. Splashtop is embedded in the BIOS (basic input-output system), which is often stored in flash memory. The BIOS checks for hardware drives and sets up the operating system. Windows has a lengthy boot-up process because of its huge size. In addition, many computers come with extra software that Windows automatically loads at startup. Often, these automatically loaded programs are not the most useful ones.

With its simple user interface, Splashtop starts before the operating system is running. The user sees a screen offering a handful of options including, but not limited to, launching the Firefox Web browser, a media player, Skype, an instant-messaging program, or allowing Windows to boot.

Splashtop resembles the lightweight operating systems found on some mobile devices, which allow access to only a few applications at a time. The software is expected to hit the public market by the second half of this year.

Phoenix Technologies, a company that develops BIOSes, has recently announced a technology called HyperSpace. Similarly to Splashtop, HyperSpace is a lightweight operating system that launches at the same time Windows does. Intel is also developing hardware and software in order to shorten booting time.

TFOT recently covered the SanDisk Vaulter Disk, which is a flash based device that enables faster launching and loading of software on laptops and personal computers. TFOT also covered Samsung’s Hybrid Hard Drive, which is a new flash memory assisted computer hard drive. The hybrid hard drive boasts improved performance and reliability, reduced energy consumption and a faster boot time.

More about Splashtop can be found on the DeviceVM website. You can also see a video demonstration here.

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