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Torture-Testing Phoenix HyperSpace, the Linux-Based Instant-On OS - page 2

Linux Mitigating Windows' Deficiencies. Again.

  • March 2, 2009
  • By Carla Schroder
Included in this release is HyperSpace Office, which appears to be rebranded ThinkFree My Office. This is a Web-based office suite that claims great compatibility with all Microsoft Office document formats. (Correction: It is not Web-based, but installed locally) This should push that 80% figure even higher. And again, though maybe I'm reading too much into this, they hype a decreased dependence on Windows:

"The move enables the shifting of a greater percentage of the average mobile user's computing activities from Windows into HyperSpace."

Not Quite Open Source

While HyperSpace uses a Linux kernel and other FOSS code, it also includes a lot of proprietary code, and it is not all that open. You have to submit a request via email to get the source code, and they don't have any kind of community involvement. In fact they keep a tight grip on it in the name of security:

"Security -- HyperSpace is a personal computing environment that is far more difficult to infect with viruses, rootkits and spyware than operating systems like Windows. Applications are digitally signed and stored in a secure memory store that is locked after execution. Updates and additions to HyperSpace will only be made via a site approved and owned or audited by Phoenix."

Dr. Banga said they intend to make it extensible, and right now their primary goal is to make it as bulletproof as possible.

To me the obvious question is "This should be on a cool little $100 device-- any plans to do that?" I shall ask the nice Phoenix people.

Pricing

HyperSpace Dual costs $39.95 annually, while Hybrid goes for a $59.95 annual subscription. Three-year subscriptions are $99.95 and $149.95.

Come back Wednesday for a detailed HyperSpace review, and next week a report on how the IdeaPad survived my special torture chamber.

Carla Schroder is the author of the Linux Cookbook and the Linux Networking Cookbook (O'Reilly Media), the upcoming "Building a Digital Sound Studio with Audacity" (NoStarch Press), a lifelong book lover, and the managing editor of LinuxPlanet and Linux Today.

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