You know that old style boot up interface you get before your Operating System starts? Wave goodbye to it! You heard me correctly there, the BIOS we love and hate at times will be a thing of the past. Microsoft plans to force mandatory adoption in Windows 8 aka Windows.Next of Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). The plan is to make hardware manufactures and retailers adopt to a new loader and do away with the ancient BIOS by 2011, when the next version of Windows is released. At the moment Apple has a similar loader known as EFI. However, EFI only supports Intel architecture. UEFI will support a host of chips including those from AMD.
So, why is this a good thing for us PC users? Well aside from doing away with ancient programming, PC load times will decrease and more hardware will be supported. Let’s have Mark Doran, head of the UEFI Forum break it down for us.
Conventional Bios is up there with some of the physical pieces of the chip set that have been kicking around the PC since 1979. At the moment it can be 25-30 seconds of boot time before you see the first bit of OS sign-on. With UEFI we’re getting it under a handful of seconds. In terms of boot speed, we’re not at instant-on yet but it is already a lot better than conventional Bios can manage and we’re getting closer to that every day.
Below is a video of a Lenovo laptop booting to Windows Vista with UEFI.