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Linux to outship Windows in 2009?
Oct. 30, 2008

Jim Zemlin, director of the Linux Foundation, as posited that Linux will outship Windows on the desktop next year, thanks to the many fast-booting Linux environments increasingly bundled with PCs. Writes Zemlin, "We may see a world at the end of next year where Linux ships on almost every notebook computer regardless of whether it is loaded with Windows."

In his blog post, Zemlin quotes a New York Times article by Ashlee Vance that lists a number of "fast-boot" Linux environments available to PC and notebook integrators. The list includes:
  • DeviceVM Splashtop, said to be used by H.P., Lenovo, and Asus, making it the leading fast-boot environment
  • H.P.'s "Instant On," described as "Splashtop in disguise"
  • Dell Latitude On, which actually runs MontaVista Linux on a separate ARM-based smartphone processor
  • Lenovo -- also a Splashtop user, reportedly
  • Phoenix HyperSpace, reportedly set to ship in January, it is said to boot quickly into Linux, while Windows loads in the background. After that, either environment can be used, with the same files, reportedly.
A couple of fast-boot environments not mentioned in the piece include Toshiba's Qosmio and Intervideo's InstantOn. As far as we know, InstantOn was the first to market a product based on the concept, and has also been used by Lenovo and Sony.

Zemlin's blog post is here.

-- Henry Kingman

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