As instant communication becomes the norm, computer users are quickly getting fed up with slow start-up times—and PC makers are focused on reducing the wait, the New York Times reports. To fight Windows’ slow load time, manufacturers are turning to programs that bypass the operating system so users can get straight to surfing. Shrinking start-up speed could give firms an edge in a cutthroat industry.
When computing was a solo endeavor, people weren’t so frustrated with the wait—but the need to be connected has changed the playing field. “In 18 months,” an HP exec says, boot-up times should be “20 to 30 seconds”; the company’s research shows that waits of more than a few minutes are perceived as even longer. Microsoft itself is aiming for a quicker boot with its next incarnation of the slow-starting Windows.