I just read about this in Dvorak’s Inside Track column in the August, 2008 issue of PC Magazine. It’s officially called Asus Express Gate. ComputerHope.com says it’s “[t]echnology developed by ASUS and introduced with their PSE3 motherboard that utilizes Splashtop, a Linux environment that is integrated onto the motherboard. With this technology users can turn on their computer and in five seconds be able to access the Internet using Firefox, online applications such as e-mail, Skype and the Splashtop desktop without having to wait for their operating system to load.”
Sure, it’s not a full-fledged OS, but for some quick Internet tasks, it’s hard to beat the load time. It’s also a great step toward having a fully-loaded OS like Linux in a small package with instant accessibility. It would be interesting to know what Microsoft thinks of this.