Phoenix Technologies, a PC BIOS maker, has just relaunched their HyperSpace “instant-on” Linux add-on for notebooks and netbooks. HyperSpace allows users to quickly load into a power conserving miniature operating system that has web, email, and media playing capabilities, well before Windows would load up. The software comes in two versions, Hybrid and Dual, with the Hybrid version taking advantage of the Intel Virtualization technology to switch seamlessly between HyperSpace and Windows Vista. Dual requires users to completely close down the HyperSpace software before the system will startup Windows.
Phoenix claims the platform reduces power usage up to 30% if users limit their Windows usage and stay in HyperSpace. The operating system also supports easy transitions between any wireless or wired network without disconnecting current internet sessions. Currently the Hybrid platform is limited to only a handful of compatible notebooks, which include some of the newer Lenovo ThinkPad models and machines from Gigabyte, Acer, Toshiba, and Fujitsu. The key element is Intel VT, but none of the models around our office that support it were found to be compatible with the Hybrid platform.
Phoenix Technologies charges an annual fee for the Dual-Boot and Hybrid. HyperSpace Hybrid, which supports seamless transitions in and out of Windows, costs $59.95 per year or $149.95 for 3 years. HyperSpace Dual, which requires you to exit out before loading Windows, costs $39.95 per year or $99 for 3 years. To find out if your notebook is supported or want to try HyperSpace out click here.