After good feedback from customers in 2007, ASUS (large motherboard manufacturer, also maker of the EEE PC) is going to embed Splashtop Linux in a chip onto a million motherboards and more soon. When turning on the PC you are presented with an option to boot into the embedded OS, which takes all of 5 seconds. You’re presented with a rudimentary desktop OS capable of running Firefox and SKYPE and a few other utilities ………….. Bill Gates ought to be VERY worried.
I expect the concept of the on-chip OS to catch on quickly, and if they ultimately offer package management (such as APT) and allow a /home partition on a hard disk (or even a solid state drive!) this could become extremely popular.
ASUS has branded Splashtop “Express Gate”. It will run off a chip, and will be an instant-on OS. At any time you can click a reset button on screen and boot up to a “traditional” OS off a hard disk. It even recognizes wireless interfaces!
If they’d allow for a VNC/RDP client — then this would be a an amazing offering as a base OS on a mini laptop to compete with the likes of the EEE PC.