How to Build a Green Instant-On PC
Bringing It All Together
Express Gate is enabled in the system BIOS, where the user can select how long a splash screen displays upon turning on the system. We set our splash screen to 10 seconds. The idea here is to turn on the system and, once the splash screen displays, be able to choose to either run the Splashtop operating system or bypass Express Gate and load Windows Vista x64 (or the native operating system of choice). Express Gate does an excellent job of identifying the hardware and can be configured to save a user's settings.
In our case, we changed the Splashtop Firefox browser's default page to a Gmail account page and added tabs to the browser for Google Calendar, Google Docs and a few other commonly used Web sites and applications. Express Gate was able to save those settings, and from then on, whenever we cold-booted the system, a simple click on the "Web" icon on the Express Gate splash screen would bring us to our Web applications in about 7 seconds with our configuration. To accomplish the same task under our native operating system (in this case, Vista x64) took roughly 1 minute and 45 seconds, and that was with the system configured for the fastest boot possible.
For those who rely on Web-based applications and use Firefox, Express Gate could quickly become the operating system of choice. Express Gate also offers IM, Skype and other popular applications, which are all just a click away on boot-up or while running the Splashtop operating system.