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Remember SplashTop? Here's An Update On Them

Free Software

Published on 30 October 2010 10:07 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software
14 Comments

Do you remember SplashTop? It's the instant-on Linux environment that was originally embedded into select ASUS motherboards three years ago and from there worked its way to other motherboards and then onto notebooks and other devices from a variety of vendors. We effectively launched SplashTop for DeviceVM, the company behind this instant-on Linux distribution, when we got our hands on SplashTop early and were the first in the world to provide a detailed analysis of SplashTop. It was one of our most popular articles that year and of over the past six and a half years that Phoronix has been around. Recently though we haven't heard much about SplashTop at all.

In fact, like Cedega, SplashTop had completely fallen off my radar even though I found it to be one of the greatest Linux innovations of 2007. (Though they had changed PR firms a while ago.) Oddly, it was not until this evening when running into an item on my Facebook friend feed from Mark Lee, the CEO and co-founder of DeviceVM, that SplashTop came to mind for the first time since the beginning of this year.

At the Consumer Electronics Show this year, DeviceVM launched SplashTop 2.0 with a redesign application dock, customization wizard, tailored themes, personalized packages, instant search, and other features. Previous to that the last time talking about SplashTop on Phoronix was when Lenovo began deploying SplashTop as QuickStart OS and then within the Phoronix Forums there were some users that hacked SplashTop to allow it to run on other devices from a USB device. During this time there's also been the emergence of Phoenix HyperSpace as another instant-on Linux environment, and to a lesser extent, the once-popular gOS and Linpus Linux QuickOS.

So what has DeviceVM and their SplashTop achieved this year? Well, they ended up suing Phoenix Technologies with their HyperSpace competitor for patent infringement. The patent they took against Phoenix Technologies was a patent they hold that covers a "Mechanism for Intuitively Invoking One or More Auxiliary Programs During a Computer Booting Process." It's talked about in this press release from January and then in May both companies had settled, but the details of the litigation settlement are not publicly available.

Over the summer, DeviceVM launched "SplashTop Remote", which is an application for the Apple iPad to remotely control Microsoft Windows from the Apple tablet. From the press release, "With Splashtop Remote, users can watch movies, listen to music, access all Windows files and applications, and even play PC and Flash games remotely."

Aside from getting into a SplashTop iPad application, DeviceVM has also decided to turn to MeeGo for future versions of SplashTop. SplashTop is now offering up a MeeGo-compliant SplashTop to their OEM partners and will allow current SplashTop users to upgrade to this newer version beginning in H1'2011. It was announced at IDF 2010 San Francisco.

Lastly, it was just a few days ago that it was announced, DeviceVM would be renaming itself to SplashTop Inc. It's good to see SplashTop is still alive and kicking.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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