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The case for a secondary motherboard OS

Mar 27, 2009, 13:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Geoff Gasior)

"Flash memory prices have tumbled in recent years, which has been good for MP3 players, cell phones, SSDs, and the now-ubiquitous USB thumb drive. Falling flash prices have also been good for motherboards, allowing Asus to cheaply equip some of its latest models with 512MB memory chips that house an ExpressGate instant-on operating system that's--you guessed it--based on Linux.

"ExpressGate is actually a re-branded version of DeviceVM's SplashTop operating system, which packs web browsing, music playback, photo management, chat, and Skype applications. It's a neat idea, and the bundled applications cover what most folks do with their PCs on a day-to-day basis. However, ExpressGate has always struck me as a little gimmicky. I find it hard to imagine that enthusiasts or even mainstream users are going to be willing to ditch the functionality of their full-blown desktop operating systems in favor of such a limited collection of instant-on applications. ExpressGate doesn't even have a file management utility, and that's sort of an important OS component. Still, I don't think it would take much to transform ExpressGate into a must-have feature for PC enthusiasts."

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