This survey, sent to a random sampling of Windows users, seems to indicated that MS is at least thinking of integrating an instant-on mode to Windows. Existing quick-start features like Splashtop, found on the Voodoo Envy, Eee Box and a number of other machines, are usually Linux-based systems that stick their finger into the BIOS. A Windows-native solution would be a similar setup—giving you access to a limited feature and application set after a few seconds boot. That is, unless the respondents to this survey overwhelmingly select "1-2 minutes" as their definition of "instant." [Engadget]
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Why even bother to ask how fast you'd like it to be? Why not just have it do an instant-on as fast as it can?