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Splashtop fast-boot tech opens up with new MeeGo version

Sep 14, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

DeviceVM previewed a new MeeGo-based version of its Splashtop instant-on distribution at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), effectively opening up the technology to Linux developers. The distribution is already being made available to OEMs, with end user upgrades available in the first half of 2011, says the company.

The Linux-based Splashtop quick-boot distribution is claimed to be the industry leader, available on more than 40 million PCs from vendors including Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, LG, and Sony.

Asus offers the technology under its "Express Gate" brand as an alternative fast-boot install on many of its Windows-based systems, such as its recent Eee PC 1215N notebook. HP, meanwhile, sells it as "QuickWeb" on computers such as its recently revamped Mini 210 netbook, pictured below.

HP's Splashtop-ready Mini 210

DeviceVM tipped its support for the Moblin- and Maemo-based MeeGo in May along with dozens of other hardware and software companies. The company was said to have shown an early demo at Computex in June of a Splashtop MeeGo Remix.

The Remix name is no longer mentioned, and it appears that instead of spinning a special MeeGo version of Spashtop, DeviceVM is instead using MeeGo as the underpinning for its mainstream distribution moving forward. As a result, Linux developers will for the first time have greater access to Splashtop's components via an industry standard SDK that in turn offer access to numerous MeeGo apps.

"Since the launch of Splashtop in late 2007, we have received thousands of requests from application developers to release an SDK," stated Mark Lee, CEO and co-founder of DeviceVM. "By embracing MeeGo and moving Splashtop to be fully compliant with the specifications shepherded by the Linux Foundation, we will effectively open up Splashtop to allow developers to deliver high-value applications to audiences across a range of computing devices."

Application developers will now have the possibility to distribute DeviceVM-related software to "millions of potential users, leading to greater adoption of the MeeGo platform," says the company. DeviceVM is also considering pre-bundling popular applications along with the MeeGo-based Splashtop, says the company.

Meanwhile, users will be able to download, install and run the hundreds of MeeGo apps that are now available on the Intel AppUp Center, says DeviceVM.

As part of its new, more open stance, DeviceVM dubs itself "an active Linux proponent," noting that CEO Lee was been elected to the Linux Foundation Board of Directors earlier this year. In addition, Beijing-based Cliff Miller, chief strategy officer at DeviceVM, has been appointed as the Linux Foundation's Director of China Operations, says the company.

Splashtop's current interface, above, will be changed to reflect the MeeGo UI, shown in the screen below.

Splashtop stores a lightweight Linux environment in flash ROM, enabling PC users to instantly and securely browse the web without booting Windows, says DeviceVM. It is said to boot up a prompt within seconds, letting users either continue booting Windows or instead load a stripped-down Linux environment featuring the Firefox web browser, Adobe Flash, Skype, and some other apps.

MeeGo for Netbooks' "MyZone" main screen

DeviceVM says it will support implementations across a wide range of devices, presumably including both notebooks and desktop PCs. This further extends the range of MeeGo, which includes reference platforms for Intel Atom-based netbooks, as well as for Atom and ARM-based handsets and In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) systems, just to name the three platforms released to date.

Stated Doug Fisher, vice president of the Software and Services Group and general manager of the Systems Software Division at Intel Corp., "DeviceVM is releasing an innovative product and their adoption of MeeGo opens new market opportunities across multiple device form factors — which is exactly the intent of MeeGo."


The MeeGo-based Splashtop is already being made available to leading PC OEMs currently shipping Splashtop on a range of device types, says DeviceVM. End-users will be able to upgrade to the new Splashtop in the first half of 2011.

Demonstrations of the new MeeGo-based Splashtop product can be seen during the IDF show in San Francisco through Sept. 15, says the company. The DeviceVM booth is part of the MeeGo Community Technology Showcase, booth # 112, in Moscone Center West.

More information on Splashtop may be found here.

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