Asus has announced plans to incorporate the Phoenix Technologies HyperSpace pre-boot environment into its laptops, giving users fast access to some basic internet-based and media applications while Windows optionally continues to boot in the background. The company did not specify which systems will receive the HyperSpace treatment, though it did say that two solutions would be available, HyperSpace Dual and HyperSpace Hybrid.

The first one is intended for netbooks and can operate only one environment or the other (Windows or HyperSpace) at a time. The Hybrid edition, which will appear on higher end notebooks instead, can run both systems side by side and lets users easily toggle back and forth between them by pressing the F4 key. However while the software will be preinstalled on Asus laptops, there is one major caveat: it will require an annual subscription.

Users will have to shell out $39.95 a year for the HyperSpace Dual setup, or $59.95 for the more functional HyperSpace Hybrid version, if they want to take advantage of this pre-boot environment. Something tells me this will be a very tough sell.