PC industry’s sloooow drive to faster boot ups

Is the PC industry finally ready to tackle the growing PBA outbreak?

PBA, (for Pre Boot Anxiety) is the clever name [New York Times writer Matt Richtel gave ](http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/26/technology/26boot.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1225065707-KZKxbX2wcwUXWzT8ixHLbg)to that all-too-familiar, twiddling-my-thumbs, C’mon, **C’MON!** state of unease PC users experience every day waiting for their system to boot and Windows to finish loading.

While not really a medical condition, waiting for the PC to load has become a daily ritual of impatience for many who choose to make coffee, hang out at the water cooler or pace the hallway rather than sit and wait minutes for the Windows logo to appear and applications to finally be ready to launch. Ironically, the wait for PC wait time to decrease has taken a lot longer than expected.

Back in 1997, I covered a Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHec) where Microsoft predicted “OnNow” technology it had developed would make the Windows desktop readily available, almost like clicking on your TV.

“OnNow is a very big deal. Waiting a few minutes to boot is an unbelievable barrier,” said Microsoft’s then CEO Bill Gates.

But OnNow languished. For all the talk about the “WinTel” duopoly, the software giant and the chip kingpin (Intel) never quite agreed on how OnNow, or any alternative instant on technology should work or be implemented.

More recently, other companies have jumped to the fore to try and speed things up for PC users by saying “Step aside Windows.” One called [Splashtop](http://www.splashtop.com/splashtop_overview.php), from DeviceVM, lets you launch an Internet browser and certain other applications within seconds of turning on your PC. Meanwhile, HP and Lenovo are bringing out systems that let you launch some functions, like email and a Web browswer, in less than about 30 seconds after turning on the PC.

So it looks like the long, long wait for faster startups is almost at hand, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

Oh and BTW, is anyone working on OffNow?

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