The computer Bios, one of the most important parts of the PC, is finally about to undergo its long overdue upgrade. The change, which is the first for the 25-year-old start-up software, could make computers start in a matter of seconds and remote management much more easier for system administrators.
The Bios controls the most basic computer processing functions and the launch of its operating system. In spite of its importance, it has been regularly adapted to modern computers rather then replaced which perhaps explains why so many computers take so long to start up in this day and age. The Bios’ replacement, known as Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), is expected to be installed in new PCs by 2011. This will make it possible to developed more advanced computers than the basic desktop and laptop computers available today. The UEFI will free computers from being based around the requirements and specifications of the original PC so that for example, it does not have to specify that a keyboard can only connect through a specific port which will make it easier to use alternative input mechanisms such as gestures on a touch-screen.
Alternatives to the UEFI are already available in the form of Open Firmware and Coreboot although they do not run on machines based on intel’s x86 chip architecture.
How long does it take your computer to boot?