Future laptops could run more than one OS
Nov 2007: HyperSpace would enable computers to play DVDs outside Windows
NEW YORK - Tired of Windows? The
next generation of laptops may let you jump from one operating system to another
to play movies, surf the Web or read e-mail.
Phoenix Technologies, a leading
maker of the software that controls the most basic workings of Windows
computers, announced this week that it will offer a feature it calls HyperSpace
to laptop manufacturers.
Woody Hobbs, the Milpitas,
Calif.-based company's chief executive, said the first application of the
technology probably will show up next summer in the shape of laptops that can
play DVDs outside Windows.
User will be able to boot in a few
seconds straight into the DVD player, skipping the longer Windows startup, or
switch to the DVD player from Windows. If Windows is running at the same time,
it can be put in sleep mode, prolonging battery life.
Laptops with a media player
separate from Windows already exist, but the players don't run parallel to
Windows (you have to boot into the player, then shut it down and boot into
Windows to switch tasks).
Laptops with HyperSpace would
likely have a separate button that instantly switches away from Windows.
In a second phase, Hobbs sees
things like Web browsers, e-mail programs and Web conferencing software like
Skype being built into HyperSpace. Computer management functions like antivirus
scanning could also be performed outside Windows, improving security, Hobbs
The technology would move PCs
closer to being appliances - always on and available - and give computer
manufacturers a chance to differentiate themselves in what is in many respects a
commodity business, by pre-loading different applications.
The HyperSpace environment would
be based on Linux, giving the freely distributed operating system what could be
its biggest break yet in the struggle to gain traction against Windows on PCs.