HP to buy Phoenix's Linux OS for $12 million

Hewlett-Packard is to buy a Linux-based operating system from Pheonix Technologies for $12 million.

The quick-boot Linux OS, called HyperSpace, is similar to Google’s upcoming Chrome OS, as it has shaved off all the excess to deliver a fast boot speed so users can immediately jump on the web. HyperSpace can load within a couple of seconds, compared to between 30 seconds and several minutes for a Windows operating system.

HP is also set to buy assets relating to HyperCore, an embedded hypervisor that allows the Linux-based OS to run limited core services alongside Windows, reports TechWorld.

HP already has a large Linux portfolio, including Palm’s Linux-based WebOS, which HP grabbed by buying out Palm for $1.2 billion, an announcement that came in April of this year.

HP also already has a quick-boot OS called QuickWeb on a number of its netbooks and laptops, which allows users to hit a button on their device to get on the web within 20 seconds. HP is keeping tight-lipped on what it’s planning to use HyperSpace for, but potentially it could be a speedier replacement for QuickWeb.

This may cause problems for the uneasy relationship between HP and Microsoft. The latter may not be too happy with HP’s increasing portfolio of operating systems, which could be seen as a direct challenge to Microsoft’s Windows franchise. While HP is unlikely to topple the Vole any time soon the demand for speedy access to the net may see people ditching Windows on their netbooks for Chrome OS or HP’s new HyperCore.

The deal should close by the end of the month.