Asus embeds lightweight OS in laptops

Several of the manufacturer's upcoming notebooks will include an embedded, instant-on operating system that uses a Linux stack.

Asus is to embed a lightweight, instant-on operating system into several of its new laptop models.

Dubbed "Express Gate", the operating system is a rebadge of DeviceVM's Splashtop software. Announced on Thursday, the deal is the second between Asus and DeviceVM to be announced this month. The earlier agreement saw Asus saying it would embed Express Gate into its full range of motherboards.

"Asus is always committed to bringing customers the most innovative solutions," said Henry Yeh, general manager of the company's notebook business unit. "With Express Gate, users will experience a new, fast and secure way to surf, chat and play on Asus notebooks for a new computing experience."

Splashtop is designed to load almost instantly when the PC is turned on, and serves as an alternative to--rather than replacement for--the main operating system on the machine. It comes with the Skype communications client and a rebadged version of the Firefox browser.

The software has two primary components: a proprietary operating system running out of the system BIOS; and an "optimized Linux stack," on top of which the applications run.

The notebooks that will use Express Gate are the M70T, M50V and M51Vr multimedia series, as well as the F8Va/Vr series. The devices will be shown at next week's Computex exhibition in Taipei.