Phoenix HyperSpace Optimized for ARM. Is That the Right Market?

hyperspace_logoWe’ve already seen Phoenix HyperSpace on X86 netbooks and it looks like we’ll see it on low-cost ARM devices as well. Phoenix Technologies developed the Linux software so computer owners could quickly get to the web, Skype or e-mail — sometimes even while a Windows partition is still booting in the background.

The company will be showing HyperSpace at next week’s Mobile World Congress at the ARM and Freescale booths. That’s no coincidence, either. Freescale’s i.MX515 CPU is built on the Cortex-A8 ARM platform and is geared for netbooks that could be targeted at $199. I expect we’ll hear more on that development next week as well.

I still like the concept and overall usability of HyperSpace, but I’m still not sold on the business model. Unless something has changed recently, HyperSpace is available as annual subscription, starting at $39.95 a year. Relatively speaking, that incremental cost is easier to bear on a full-featured notebook costing more. On a $199 netbook? That’s 20% of the cost and a tough sell. Part of the benefit HyperSpace brings is in battery savings. Wouldn’t that be more advantageous on a bigger, more expensive notebook that guzzles juice instead of an ARM-based netbook that’s more power efficient?

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