Microsoft may kick Linux boot time with “instant on” in Windows 7

October 16, 2008

Microsoft may kick Linux boot time with “instant on” in Windows 7 I’ll believe it when I see it, but Microsoft is considering a feature for Windows 7 that would boot up to a limited functionality environment in 8 seconds. With a development like this, Microsoft would be pushing PCs well into the appliance space, especially considering some TVs take longer than that to power up. And, it would be a significant differentiator from Microsoft’s open source nemesis, Linux.

Microsoft isn’t promising anything yet, but a recent survey sent out by Microsoft to a group of select users reads:

We would like your feedback on a new concept. The concept is called “Instant On”. Instant On takes your computer from being completely powered down or “turned off” to being usable for a few specific activities in a very short amount of time. According to Engadget.

Improving boot up times could do some good in overcoming the perceived flexibility gap between Windows and Linux. Microsoft could be on to something. Most PCs running Windows XP or Vista take a minute or two to boot, and compared with turning on a lamp or microwave, that’s a long time. Users have been willing to accept the slower response time because of the eclectic functionality PCs provide. But that doesn’t make them any more patient. How many times have you grabbed a beverage, filled the dishwasher or played with your pet while a PC clunks to life?

Of course, Microsoft certainly isn’t the first to think about this feature. SplashTop has been working on it for a while now and integrates with the hardware on ASUS PCs, some of which are powered by open source Linux. With SplashTop enabled PCs, it’s possible to quick boot into a set of specific applications like web, image sharing, and online games.

Microsoft is considering similar functionality for its twist on this in Windows 7, focusing specifically on web browsing, media playback, and instant messaging.

Linux has and Windows seem to have fairly comparable boot times right now, here’s a video comparison between Ubuntu Linux and Windows Vista:

Ubunto Linux vs Windows Vista boot times
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13 Responses to “Microsoft may kick Linux boot time with “instant on” in Windows 7”

  1. Eruaran:

    Its just Microsoft feeding the media and pushing vaporware again…

    *yawn*

  2. Bobwilliams:

    There are ton of advantages to having a lean Linux installation with virtually no boot time; especially when you consider how long it takes to boot Vista at the best of times. If you only need to turn on your computer to make a Skype call or check your email, it is possible. A second OS installed in this way also makes things easy when you need to troubleshoot Windows problems.
    ——————————–
    Bobwilliams
    Internet marketing

  3. Skrot3m:

    A “differentiator” for windows???
    The splashtop technology you reference IS Linux – not just something yuo can get on mobos that run Linux. One of the Mandrive developers is claiming to have a 5sec boot on his machine – and that’s not out of a custom firmware image – his Linux boot is 5sec.
    Yet again MS is following the market (Linux in this case), and yet you make a claim that this will somehow help theme differentiate themselves from Linux. Are you on crack?
    …or just the MS payroll?

  4. Ralph:

    Linux and Windows do not have the same boot times…unless has at least 2 GB. Vista needs about 2 GB to function properly unhacked.

    Linux can run fine on 512 MB RAM. If you compare Linux and Vista at 512 MB or even 1 GB … Linux will boot up faster and run much better than Vista could ever dream about.

    If one hacks Vista down, one can make Vista almost have the same boot times as XP. But this requires disabling..system restore, windows defender, indexing, aero, resource hungry anti virus programs, and the side bar and reduce startup programs down to one or two.

    So Microsoft decides to have a “innovative” instant on spashtop on Windows 7 ?

    Amazing…Where do they come up with these brainstorms?

    Fact is they haven’t released anything original or innovative in a long time. They have to look at other operating systems like Linux and copy it.
    The last major innovation was Windows XP, but that was over seven years ago.

  5. guesswho:

    Limited environment in 8 seconds? My A1200′ll boot a full desktop in that time from floppy.

  6. Arthur Pemberton:

    Google “5 second linux boot”

  7. James:

    What an utterly ignorant article.

    How could this possibly be a “significant differentiator” for Windows when Linux has been doing this for years? One recent example: ASUS Express Gate. Microsoft is the one playing catch up here (again). As usual if you want actual innovation, you go to the open source community.

  8. Hugh:

    Quote: “… a feature for Windows 7 that would boot up to a limited functionality environment in 8 seconds …”

    Well that’s tautological, because any *anything* Microsoft does yields a “limited functionality environment”. In truth, getting a faster boot up into Windows would be like bringing forward your appointment for root canal surgery.

    Quote: “Microsoft isn’t promising anything yet”

    Oh, so no promises from Microsoft? Well, that’s a big surprise, isn’t it? As Eruaran said, this is just more vapourware.

    Quote: “Improving boot up times could do some good in overcoming the perceived flexibility gap between Windows and Linux”.

    What’s with the use of the term “perceived”? It is not a “perception” that there is a gap between Linux and Windows, it is a *REALITY*. (Furthermore, it is not a gap, it is a yawning chasm, and it is getting ever wider as a dithering and desperate Microsoft continues to manifest the symptoms of a corporation that has completely lost the plot).

    Quote: “Of course, Microsoft certainly isn’t the first to think about this feature”.

    Of course Microsoft are rarely the first to think about any feature. They are “fast followers”, which is simply a diplomatic way of describing them as the pathetic plagiarists and thieves that they are. Now it’s proving hard for them to keep up, and they appear to be on the verge of having a heart attack.

  9. ahsan:

    no never

  10. alex:

    did you ever hear about coreboot (linuxbios) or about magicgate?

  11. oaul:

    Instant on, Pah, my ZX spectrum did that in 1983, when i added a +d drive it could boot in just a few seconds to a menu then load a game in about 5, in some cases it could auto load games,

    actually we have a sega megadrive at work, plug in game cartridge, turn on, play game, pretty quick

  12. Dude:

    Dued. It’s Ubuntu, not ubunto.

  13. amorv - the simple image host:

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to grasp so much approximately this, such as you wrote the e-book in it or something. I feel that you simply can do with some percent to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that, that is fantastic blog. An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

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