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Startup set to unveil virtual Linux environment for PCs

Oct 8, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

A startup funded by some of the world's largest PC makers is reportedly set to unveil an interesting virtual Linux environment on Oct. 9. DeviceVM's “Splashtop” will reportedly let desktop and notebook PC users instantly and securely browse the Web, play MP3s, and watch DVDs without booting Windows.

Splashtop is slated for roll-out initially on a relatively high-end Asus motherboard, according to a blog post at Wired magazine. The environment will be branded as “ExpressGate” by Asus, and will let users browse the Internet using Firefox within 20 seconds of pushing the power button, according to the post.

From reports, the Splashtop will also let users play MP3s and watch DVDs, similar to Intervideo's “InstantOn” music and DVD playback environment, previously embedded in consumer notebooks by Lenovo, NEC, and others (see “Related Stories” below). It also appears to resemble the Linux-based alternative boot image developed by Toshiba for its Qosmio PCs.

There's one difference, however, in that DeviceVM positions itself as a virtualization company. This suggests that its media- and Internet browsing-oriented environment will be capable of running at the same time as Windows or another host OS. Users could potentially browse the Internet under Linux, while keeping a separate instance of Windows running offline for much-improved security.

The Wired post suggests that the Linux environment will not have access to the device's hard drive. Presumably, though, users could insert a usb storage key when wishing to transfer files between the two environments.

Currently, DeviceVM's stealth-mode website says little about the company. It does say the company received $10M in Series A funding, from investors that include AsusTek, Storm Ventures, DFJ DragonFund China, Tim Draper, iD Innovation (described as a “venture arm started by Acer Group founder Stan Shih), Harbinger Ventures, and “angel investors affiliated with major PC manufacturers Lenovo, Foxconn, Quanta, Compal, etc.” The very brief Wired post can be found here.

DeviceVM had not responded to's inquiries by publication time.

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