When is an iPad not exactly an iPad? Answer: When it's running Windows software. Turns out that if you want want to run Windows 8 with native Metro UI touch gestures on a tablet, you don't have to wait until later this year to do it, there's already an app for that. Splashtop, makers of a remote desktop application for iPad devices, released a new version that plays nice with Windows 8 Consumer Preview testbeds.
Splashtop's Remote Desktop software is arguably the best software of its kind for the iPad. With it, iPad owners can manipulate their computer desktop from their tablet, and if nothing else, it's a cost effective way of sidestepping the lack of Flash support on iOS. Splashtop is also available on Android, and announced Tuesday, there's now a Windows client for PC-to-PC and PC-to-Mac remote access from a private network or across the Internet.
Over at PCmag.com, they bring up an interesting point about Asus’ new ROM boot chip and "Express Gate"; how it will affect users psychologically. We are not talking about power users, but just regular end users and how they feel about Linux.
For power users, there just isn’t much draw on Express Gate. So it lets you boot into a basic OS with a web browser and Skype in five seconds. Not really a big deal since most power users keep their machines on 24/7, or maybe let them sleep/hibernate. They also may have a dual boot system to a full featured Linux OS as well. This leaves power users scratching their heads asking why. Had Asus decided to make use of this Linux on ROM to provide things like diagnostics, data recovery, BIOS configuration/updating, or hardware systems monitoring, they would have had us at “hello”.
End users on the other hand, are more likely to power their systems on and off. For these folks having the option to boot quickly to use a web browser for a few minutes before rushing off someplace makes sense. More importantly it gets them using Linux without being obvious about it. I am sure Asus likes this idea as it will warm users up to their Eee line using the Linux OS. This could spool up to be a big deal if other manufacturers pick up on the idea and start serving up their own Splashtop Linux ROM chips on their motherboards.
The effect becomes that there will be more users comfortable using Linux and that could eat into Microsoft’s market share. If this takes off, Microsoft has little choice but to make it’s OS capable of going instant on, or creating a super light and cheap version of Windows that can do the same thing (like Windows CE, but better).
Do you think this might take off? Can we expect Microsoft to follow suit and do their own instant on OS? Let me know!