The start-up coffee run is coming to an end

March 5, 2009


Sometimes all we need from our computer is email and the internet. I know many mornings I grow tired of waiting for my computer to load up the operating system along with all the support files (drivers, DLLs, Systray applications, etc.), just so I can check the weather before I take my dogs outside. However, that long wait will be a thing of the past very shortly.

Several vendors over the last year have released (or are working on) Instant-On operating systems which will provide just the basic foundations to allow the user to access their email, surf the web, and maybe chat with Skype. Instant-On OS’s aren’t designed to replace full operating systems, like Windows or MacOS X or Linux. Rather, they’re designed to provide quick access, some while the full operating system is loading in the background. The technology started a few years ago with Phoenix Technologies’ HyperSpace embedded operating system, and has just accelerated over the last few years with competitors such as Splashtop, gOS Cloud, Xandros Presto!, JoliCloud, Moblin, and MSI Winki. Rumor has it that Microsoft is even considering an Instant-On feature for Windows 7.

Why? It just makes sense – our computers may be able to do everything but walk the dog, but they take a while to startup. And although many of us like to keep our computers on or in standby/hibernation, that takes a fair amount of electricity. With all the push for smart energy, it’s the solution to a problem – Do I leave my computer on draining power or turn it off and get stuck waiting 5-10 minutes for it to startup? With some of these products offering 15 second startups, you’ll have no more waiting and no more energy drain!

And you’ll have to find some other time to go get your coffee.

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