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Microsoft mulls 'Instant On' for Windows

The software maker is surveying select users on whether an operating-system option that gives nearly instant access to select applications upon bootup is a good idea.

Mike Ricciuti Staff writer, CNET News
Mike Ricciuti joined CNET in 1996. He is now CNET News' Boston-based executive editor and east coast bureau chief, serving as department editor for business technology and software covered by CNET News, Reviews, and Download.com. E-mail Mike.
Mike Ricciuti

If you feel that Windows starts too slowly most days, Microsoft is considering an option that could help.

The company is surveying select users on whether an "instant on" feature, which would rush a usable desktop to your screen in just seconds, is something they'd like included with Windows.

"The concept is called 'Instant On.' Instant On takes your computer from being completely powered down or turned off to being usable for a few specific activities in a very short amount of time," according to excerpts from the survey posted by Engadget.

Is "Instant On" coming to Windows 7? Engadget

"The Instant On experience is different from "Full Windows" because it limits what activities you can do and what applications you can have access to," the survey states.

Faster boot times are clearly a priority for Microsoft and could be included in Windows 7, the next planned release of the operating system.

"For Windows 7, a top goal is to significantly increase the number of systems that experience very good boot times. In the lab, a very good system is one that boots in under 15 seconds," engineer Michael Fortin said in an August blog post

Microsoft has already been working more closely with PC makers both on Windows 7 and Windows Vista to try to improve, among other things, system boot time. The first fruits of that effort are expected to emerge on certain new PCs for the holidays.

CNET News.com's Ina Fried contributed to this post.