PC maker Dell is expected to announce today its first series of high-end laptops to include microprocessors designed by the UK's ARM Holdings.
Although designed to run Microsoft's new Windows 7 operating system on an Intel chip most of the time, the ARM chip and a version of Linux will be used for instant access to some functions as soon as the laptop is turned on, according to the Financial Times.
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Dell's strategy uses the outcome of a US Justice Department antitrust case against Microsoft to avoid user frustration at the slow Windows boot-up process.
In the landmark case, Microsoft lost its ability to dictate how PCs start, enabling PC makers such as Dell and HP to use alternative software such as the free Linux operating system for instant start-up.
With Linux, Dell's Latitude Z can start as soon it is opened, giving users instant access to e-mail and the internet, as well as read-only access to documents.