March 20, 2009 at 12:08 pm
Another competitor has thrown its hat into the ‘instant-on’ OS arena. Xandros has announced that ‘Presto’ has entered beta stage and is being offered as a free download until its retail release on April 13th at which point it will cost $19.95. The OEM version of Presto has already been out for a while, but this is the first time the consumer version has been released for beta.
This ‘pre-OS’ is a new breed of applications based on Linux that are meant to boot up faster than Windows (or any other full operating system). In other words, they bring you online in less than 30 seconds and offer quick, easy access to the type of applications you’ll want to use.
Presto is said to differ from other solutions by being able to install directly from Windows. It is Prestos user-friendliness that sets it apart from other Linux distros. On installation, Presto has a single dock containing shortcuts to Firefox 3.0, Pidgin 2.4.3, Skype 2.0, the File Manager, and the Xandros’ application store. The ‘Presto App Store’ allows you to install other apps easily (Picasa, AVG for Linux and Last FM). Xandros claims that it will load in 15 seconds. However, Laptop Mag, found that from cold boot to full connectivity was just under 50 seconds.
Some of the more popular pre-OS solutions already on the market are Splashtop and Hyperspace. MSI have also announced an instant-on OS called Winki. Other upcoming pre-OSs that we’ll be keeping an eye on include Jolicloud, gOS Cloud and Moblin. JKKMobile has a video (below) of Presto in action on the Asus Eee PC 900. Despite a few hardware issues, he came away quite impressed with the beta.