Hyperspace is a competitive product from Phoenix Technologies, the company that makes the BIOS for a large number of the computers and laptops on the market today. Hyperspace differs from Splashtop in that it will install on a local hard drive in a separate partition. It comes in two different versions specifically for computers with hardware virtualization support and those without.
The initial release of Hyperspace has only a web browser application along with support for a number of wireless cards. Phoenix has a list of systems they've tested on their website along with the basic system requirements. You can download the installer which will run a test on your machine and let you know whether it's compatible or not. When I tested it on my Dell XPS M1330 laptop, it informed me that it was not compatible. I'll have to wait to test it on other hardware.
Hyperspace has a neat feature for machines with hardware virtualization that should really appeal to the productivity conscious. It will boot a host operating system, such as Windows Vista, behind the scenes while you use the Hyperspace environment and allow you to switch over to it once it has finished booting. Now you can actually do something productive while you wait for Windows to boot.
One of the biggest differences in the two products is price. For starters, you can't buy Splashtop except as a part of a motherboard from Asus or a full up system. Hyperspace is available as a product, but the pricing model is by subscription -- meaning you have to pay a yearly fee or it ceases to work. Phoenix Technologies does plan to offer Hyperspace with a 3-year option that should keep you going until it's time for a replacement.
Linux definitely has the upper hand when it comes to quick booting environments. The options are somewhat limited at this time, but that will only get better over time. Expect the developer community to get involved once the companies deliver on their SDK promises.
This article was first published on LinuxPlanet.com.