Five years ago there used to be DeviceVM Splashtop, a really interesting Linux environment embedded into motherboards. I happened to break the news to the world accidentally ahead of the company's web-site even being up and initially they had a fair amount of success among enthusiasts with this embedded Linux web environment on higher-end motherboards.
Aside from shipping a Splashtop chip on motherboards that allowed for quickly booting the web-focused custom Linux distribution, they had ambitious plans for Splashtop on desktops and laptops and it began appearing from other vendors too. Phoronix readers were also successful in hacking Splashtop. Times were great and Splashtop was promising, but eventually they moved the Splashtop OS to be more of a HDD-based program rather than being embedded onto a flash chip, which lost much of its unique appeal. In the end, Splashtop ended up completely re-focusing upon something new.
Splashtop dabbled with a MeeGo-based operating system to not much success and then ultimately came up with Splashtop Remote as a VNC-like program for remotely accessing OS X and Windows PCs as well as supporting its viewer program on iOS and Android tablets/phones. As of late, this remote desktop application has been all of the company's focus.
With the Splashtop remote application just being for Windows/OSX/iOS/Android, I hadn't been communicating with my contacts there in quite some time or been paying much attention to the company until a few days ago when being contacted about an imminent "Linux announcement." While at first I hoped it was a revival of their Splashtop operating system, it ended up being a Linux port of their remote desktop application software.
While at first it seems boring yet another remote desktop application for Linux when there's already VNC and friends, the features offered are fairly interesting. In the press release being issued today, Splashtop claims a 10x performance advantage over VNC.
Splashtop 2 client devices can connect to a remote computer running Ubuntu and the company attributes their "efficient protocol, algorithms, and optimizations" that allow it to deliver 10x the performance over VNC in latencies. Splashtop also claims 15x higher video frame-rates than the competition. I haven't yet tried out this software on Linux myself so I cannot attest to these performance claims.
Other features of the Splashtop software include 256-bit AES encryption, the "Splashtop Bridging Cloud" for easy connectivity across any network (behind firewalls/proxies/etc), self-optimizing, and multi-device support.
The Splashtop software itself is proprietary and isn't free depending upon the usage, but the Linux Foundation will be promoting it today with this software coming to Linux.
For now, Splashtop is only being targeted at Ubuntu 32/64-bit. In talking with the company, they may eventually look at supporting other Linux distributions, but for now they are just concerning themselves with Ubuntu since that's what a majority of their customers have been requesting. The Linux port comes in the form of Debian packages via their web-site and will be available from the Ubuntu Software Center shortly.
More information on the remote desktop software is available from Splashtop.com.