Goodbye BIOS Here Comes UEFI
UEFI which is an acronym for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface which will eventually replace the 20+ year old Bios. The new standard is backed by everyone so to speak including Intel, AMD, Microsoft, IBM, American Megatrends, Phoenix Technologies and Apple.
Support will be added to Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 and is already available for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and first motherboards supporting UEFI are already available on the market (MSI P35 Neo3). One of the main differences between BIOS and UEFI is the way applications are coded. Assembler was used if functions or applications had to be coded for the BIOS while a higher level language code will be used to program the UEFI.
The memory footprint is about 10 times smaller as well. The main benefits for customers are a better presentation and (probably) motherboards that are more stable. When will the transition be complete ? Insiders suggest that it might take between two or three years.
The UEFI specification defines a new model for the interface between personal-computer operating systems and platform firmware. The interface consists of data tables that contain platform-related information, plus boot and runtime service calls that are available to the operating system and its loader. Together, these provide a standard environment for booting an operating system and running pre-boot applications.