From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In computers, instant-on is the ability to boot nearly instantly, thus allowing to go online or to use a specific application without waiting for a PC's traditional operating system to launch. Instant-on technology is today mostly used on laptops, netbooks, and nettops because the user can boot up one program, instead of waiting for the PC's entire operating system to boot. For instance, a user may want to just launch a movie-playing program or launch an internet browser, without needing the whole operating system. There are and were true instant-on machines such as the Atari ST, as described in the Booting article. These machines had complete Operating Systems resident in ROM similar to the way in which the BIOS function is conventionally provided on current computer architectures. The "instant-on" concept as used here results from loading an OS, such as a legacy system DOS, with a small hard drive footprint. Latency inherent to mechanical drive performance can also be eliminated by using Live USB or Live SD flash memory to load systems at electronic speeds which are orders of magnitude faster.[citation needed]

List of systems[edit]


  • In October 2007, ASUS introduced an instant-on capability branded "Express Gate" on select motherboards, using DeviceVM's Splashtop software and dedicated flash memory.
  • In May 2008, Asus shipping "Express Gate" based on Splashtop to its notebooks.[8]
  • In July 2008, HP started shipping Splashtop on its Voodoo notebooks, calling it "Instant On Solution (IOS)."
  • In October 2008, Lenovo started shipping Splashtop on its netbooks, calling it "QuickStart." [9]
  • Dell Computer Corporation announced on 13 August 2008 that they would support "instant on" in their Latitude line of laptops, leveraging "a dedicated low-voltage sub-processor and OS that can enable multi-day battery life and which provides "near-instant access to e-mail, calendar, attachments, contacts and the Web without booting into the system’s main operating system (OS)...[10]" This OS will be running a Linux variant.[11]
  • In January 2009, LG started shipping Splashtop on its netbooks, calling it "Smart On."
  • In June 2009, Acer started using Splashtop on its netbook, calling it "RevoBoot."
  • In June 2009, Sony started installing an instant-on browser-only version of Splashtop software on its Vaio NW laptops.[12]
  • In September 2009, HP announced[13] that it will ship a number of netbooks and commercial notebooks with a "Quick Web" instant-on feature, which also utilizes Splashtop software.
  • In September 2009, Asus shipped EeePC netbooks with "Express Gate," based on Splashtop.
  • In October 2009, Samsung partnered with Phoenix Technologies to offer instant-on notebooks and netbooks.[14]
  • In November 2009, Dell shipped Latitude commercial notebooks, with Latitude On Reader and Latitude On Flash features, based on Splashtop.[15]
  • In November 2009, Google open source Chrome OS alpha.[16]
  • In November 2009, Acer shipped Splashtop on its Aspire One netbooks, called "InstaBoot." [17]
  • In December 2009, Mandriva published an Environment called "Mandriva InstantOn"
  • By end of 2009, Splashtop has shipped on over 30 million PCs.
  • In early 2010, Canonical, the sponsors for the Ubuntu Operating System, will have an instant-on proposition released to market. Information may be released at the CES show in Las Vegas, January 2010.
  • In June 2010, HP buys Phoenix's HyperSpace.[18]
  • In 2010, DeviceVM projected Splashtop will ship on over 100 million PCs.
  • In October 2010, Apple introduced the new MacBook Air a next generation notebook that use flash memory technology that enables the ability of instant-on.
  • In February 2011, Splashtop OS released as a free download.

Pros and cons[edit]

An instant-on operating system is like those used by 1980s home computers such as the Commodore 64. This offers many advantages over a standard modern operating system:

  • It boots much faster.
  • It is less vulnerable to malware as the system is mostly read-only.
  • It allows for diskless computers.
  • It is lighter.
  • It consumes less power.

However, this comes at the price of having limited local functionality, while focusing on web / cloud services.[citation needed]

Consumer electronics[edit]

In the past, consumer electronics manufacturers would emblazon radios and television sets with "Instant On" or "Instant Play" decals. In series filament sets, instant-on was accomplished by adding only a silicon diode across the power switch to keep tube filaments lit at 50% power; the diode was placed such that the typical half wave rectifier of the day was reverse-biased. Instant-on advantages included near-instant operation of the television or radio and potentially longer vacuum tube life; disadvantages included energy consumption and risk of fire. Most solid state consumer electronics are inherently instant-on, so the moniker survived into the early solid state era to differentiate a product from its vacuum-tube based brethren (with CRTs being a notable exception).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Canonical Blog". Retrieved 2014-02-11.
  2. ^ "Official Blog: Introducing the Google Chrome OS". Retrieved 2014-02-11.
  3. ^ Archived June 30, 2012, at
  4. ^ "MSI Military Class II Concept". Archived from the original on 2011-03-08. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
  5. ^ "HP® Official Site | Laptop Computers, Desktops, Printers, Servers, Services and more". Retrieved 2014-02-11.
  6. ^ "Splashtop the Top-rated Remote Desktop & App Access Solution for Mobile". Retrieved 2014-02-11.
  7. ^ "Why Wait - Get Presto". Archived from the original on 2009-03-02. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
  8. ^ Archived October 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "". February 2014. Archived from the original on December 30, 2010.
  10. ^ Elgin, Mike (August 15, 2008). "Dell targets 19-hour laptop at 'digital nomads'". Computer World.
  11. ^ Kingsley-Hughes, Adrian (August 13, 2008). "Are "instant on" notebooks the future?". ZDNet.
  12. ^ Archived September 25, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Filter News Results | HP Newsroom Filter News Results". Retrieved 2014-02-11.
  14. ^ "Phoenix Technologies Ltd - Press Releases". Archived from the original on 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2014-02-11.
  15. ^ Archived October 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "Official Blog: Releasing the Chromium OS open source project". Retrieved 2014-02-11.
  17. ^ Archived December 21, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "Phoenix Technologies Ltd - Press Releases". Archived from the original on 2010-06-28. Retrieved 2014-02-11.

External links[edit]