Phoenix Intros Instant-On Laptop Tech

Perhaps you have better things to do than wait minutes — and minutes — while laptop your Windows computer boots. If so, Phoenix Technologies’ new Hyperspace, which can enable instant-on booting that bypasses Windows so you can quickly access frequently used applications, could be your cup of tea.

The Milpitas, California-based company that is best known as a maker of BIOS software on Monday announced the release of Hyperspace, which it described in a statement as “an innovative platform that promises to ignite a PC revolution.”

With “embedded simplicity,” Hyperspace enables what the company described as “instant-on applications.”


Self-Contained Appliances

Essentially, the applications become self-contained software appliances that can be embedded into new computers by system vendors. Applications can include such frequently used ones as instant-on instant messaging, e-mail, Web browsing, shopping, or video playback.

The company said that the approach, aside from reducing wait time, allows one-click remote system maintenance and repair, lower battery consumption, and embedded security.

The platform itself is a virtualized environment, with a Phoenix hypervisor called HyperCore that is embedded in the BIOS. The company said that HyperCore is a virtual machine monitor that “runs specialized core services side-by-side with Windows.” Phoenix is now in the process of collaborating with various OEMs to provide what it described as a foundation for PC 3.0.

Phoenix created its original BIOS product in 1983, which, in various incarnations, has shipped in over a billion computer systems.

Bypassing the Core OS

Samir Bhavnani, a research director with industry research firm Current Analysis West, said that various companies over the years have released instant-on programs. “What Phoenix is doing,” he said, “is taking more of the things that are commonly used and bypassing the core OS.”

He added that, because this virtualized, stripped-down OS bypasses Windows, it could offer a “huge increase in battery life.”

When Windows boots up, several processes and programs are loaded, but Phoenix’s approach avoids that, said Bhavnani. “You just boot up into this alternate universe,” he noted, using some applications built just for that universe, such as e-mail, Web browsing, or DVD-watching. Obviously, he said, “Microsoft is not going to be too happy about this.”

Bhavnani suggested that Dell or a similar vendor might use Hyperspace to offer instant-on applications on their laptops for travelers. Additionally, Phoenix and some observers have noted that, as a virtualized, walled-off environment, HyperSpace applications might provide increased security.

Via Yahoo

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