HP buys HyperSpace fast-boot Linux

HP, which recently picked up Palm's WebOS, will pay $12m for Phoenix Technologies' instant-on Linux HyperSpace for netbooks and laptops

HP has bought fast-boot Linux technology HyperSpace from BIOS firm Phoenix Technologies in a cash deal worth $12m.

In addition to picking up HyperSpace, HP also acquired the HyperCore and Phoenix Flip fast-boot and client virtualisation product lines as part of the deal, Phoenix said in its announcement on Friday.

"We are very pleased that HP has agreed to acquire these assets relating to Phoenix's HyperSpace, given HP's rich history of innovation and product differentiation," said Phoenix chief executive Tom Lacey in the statement.

HyperSpace is a Linux-based operating system for laptops and netbooks that boots up almost instantly for access to web and office productivity applications. It can work alone or side-by-side with other operating systems (OS) such as Microsoft Windows, where the hardware allows virtualisation. A dual-boot version of the OS is also available for netbooks or devices that do not support virtualisation.

It promises to allow people to get on with tasks while waiting for Windows to boot up in the background, and users can toggle between HyperSpace and Windows without having to reboot the system. However, people cannot install applications to HyperSpace, according to a product FAQ.

HyperCore, the hypervisor that controls HyperSpace, is embedded in the core system firmware, or BIOS.

HP's recent acquisitions include Palm, which it said in April it would acquire for $1.2bn (£788m) to participate in the smartphone market. The deal brought Palm's WebOS to HP for handheld devices, among other technology.

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