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MS developing instant-on for Windows?

updated 09:15 am EDT, Wed October 15, 2008

MS Developing Instant On

Microsoft could be hoping to preempt the further spread of Linux into its territory by developing its own pre-boot interface, a survey sent by a reader to Engadget shows. Tentatively called just Instant On, the proposed feature would mimic the approach taken with Dell's Latitude Instant On or the Splashtop interface on some ASUS mainboards and notebooks by giving users basic web browsing, media playback, and messaging in a special interface that would start in less than eight seconds.

Microsoft asks users if they would also consider calendaring, e-mail, VoIP and even running some full Windows apps important, and asks users whether they would allow more or less time for the feature to start up.

The company hasn't publicly committed to this sort of feature in Windows 7 and has generally resorted to attempts to avoid a full boot of Windows with Vista, including efforts to introduce a true sleep mode and its largely unsuccessful Vista SideShow mode, which gives PCs an offline view of some PC information from a secondary screen.

Long boot times have been considered one of the factors in a hostile reaction to Vista, combining with unwanted third-party apps on some systems to boot times as high as two minutes where more optimized platforms, such as Linux and Mac OS X, often boot in under one minute. These rivals are often chosen in part for their quick load times or, in the case of Mac OS X, for its longstanding instant wake feature.

By Electronista Staff


  1. DeezNutts

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008


    Long boot times on Vista?

    Vista boots pretty fast in my experience.

    The one thing that takes serious time on my system is the sidebar, that thing takes forever to load up and I have no idea why.

    I'd love to see a faster boot in windows 7, but vista isn't horribly slow.

    My OS X system smokes it hands down, but its not so much of a difference that I dread starting vista machine.

  1. phillymjs

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2000



    That's it, Microsoft, don't address Windows' shortcomings, just keep circumventing them. "Our OS is a slow, bloated pig? No problem! We'll just make a mini-OS so you can run your apps there!"

    Will these clowns ever get it? Chuck Windows as it is today, start over from scratch, and provide backward-compatibility via virtualization. Come on, Microsoft, you're so willing to copy everything else Apple does, why so stubborn about this?

  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006



    You want instant on? Get a Mac. The full OSX is useable within a few seconds after waking from sleep.

  1. sgs123

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005


    Oh for the old days!

    I can definitely remember when a Mac IIfx could (cold) boot System 6.0.8 to the desktop in less than 6 seconds.

    (less time that it took for the monitor to power up)

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