HyperSpace instant-on OS pops up while Windows boots

"We've all been there: we power up our laptops and then find something else to do for several minutes or more while our computers boot up." Phoenix's pitch for HyperSpace may be just slightly hyperbolic, but the idea behind the new instant-on operating system is cool nonetheless. In short, HyperSpace Hybrid pops up while Windows is booting, and you can toggle back and forth between the two OSes by hitting F4 on your laptop keyboard.

The HyperSpace environment lets you get online, browse the web, check e-mail, and watch YouTube videos. Phoenix claims using it instead of Windows for day-to-day tasks can also increase battery life by "up to 30%." You won't have to wait for hardware makers to implement this one in their notebooks, either—you can download a 21-day trial right here and buy the whole thing for $59.99. HyperSpace sits in its own hard drive partition (you'll apparently need 3GB of contiguous space), and it can co-exist with English versions of Windows Vista SP1 x86.

Hardware-wise, Phoenix says you'll need an Intel Core Duo or Core 2 Duo processor with hardware virtualization support, along with Intel GMA 3000, 3100, X3000, X3100, X3500, or X4500 integrated graphics. If you're not sure you have the right hardware, the installer should find out for you. Also, Phoenix offers a cut-down version called HyperSpace Dual with looser hardware requirements but no support for concurrent operation with Windows.

Tip: You can use the A/Z keys to walk threads.
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