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11 June 2010, 15:46

HP buys Phoenix's HyperSpace quick-start Linux

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Zoom HyperSpace desktop with numerous widgets.
Some netbooks, notebooks and desktop PCs are shipped with compact operating systems designed to boot particularly quickly. Among those offering such systems are BIOS and firmware specialist Phoenix Technologies. Its HyperSpace system is said to stand out because reportedly it can use the virtualisation functions of various Intel processors to run simultaneously with the main operating system and not just as an alternative. However, Phoenix has now sold its HyperSpace division to PC market leader HP for $12 million.

Phoenix took its competitor DeviceVM, which sells such systems as the Splashtop quick-start operating system used by ASUS under the name of Express Gate, to court over alleged patent infringement issues. The two parties have since reached an out-of-court settlement – without releasing any details.

In a test by The H's associates at c't magazine in Germany, the currently available quick-start operating systems didn't convince the testers: On Samsung's N220 netbook, for instance, HyperSpace required at least 28 seconds to start – considerably longer than operating systems such as Windows 7 require to wake up from standby. Quick-start operating systems with their intentionally limited range of features are almost impossible to extend, and they sometimes contain obsolete software versions which include known security holes.


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