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Operating systems - who needs them?

It never ceases to amaze me how new ideas, ­ like cicadas, can appear, breed, hibernate for a few years and then re-emerge in a metamorphosed form. Several years back, I remember meeting some guys from Phoenix Technologies, one of the major developers of PC firmware, who showed me one such idea whose rebirth is well overdue.

Back then, they showed me a laptop with a new type of Bios running something called FirstWare, which gave you an OS-independent, pre-boot environment in which applications like a browser, email client and diagnostic and recovery tools could run.

Phoenix has just launched the logical successor to this technology, known collectively as PC 3.0, and, in keeping with the modern zeitgeist, it’s based on virtualisation.
I’m a great fan of anything that improves life for users and makes life easier for IT departments, and in this case I think Phoenix, with a bit of luck and a fair wind, could be onto a winner.

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