If you believe the manager of the UEFI Forum, the vulnerable BIOS will be replaced by a more modern software layer in PC’s from next year. This should allow a computer to boot faster.
Presented as the successor of BIOS (Basic Input Output System) for a few years now, UEFI is a micro-program which makes the link between the computers hardware components and the operating system which has promised to become the standard for PC’s. This is what Mark Doran has stated, UEFI’s Forum manager who is overseeing the development of this new technology.
Interviewed by BBC News, Mark Doran believes that at thirty years old, BIOS, which has was never designed to be extensible, has greatly outlived its lifespan and is today no longer adapted to modern systems.
He points out that there are continual problems with hard drive management with the increased size of drives, while "removable hard drives can be used to have a functional system during the installation/reinstallation of an operating system". "The BIOS forces USB hard drives to be identified as a hard drive".
By providing similar functions as that provided by the BIOS, the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface provides a diverse range of advantages, mainly because it has been designed to be more flexible with modern technologies.
The UEFI "frees the computer of all constraints linked to the model and specifications of the original PC’s". For example, "it doesn’t state that a keyboard has to be connected to a specific port. It just says that somewhere on the machine a keyboard can be detected". This should make the use of other input devices like tactile screens easier.
UEFI should therefore provide this extensibility lacking from BIOS. UEFI uses EFI as its base, with the program developed in the C language, providing a greater flexibility for the integration of future evolutions. EFI was notably developed by Apple for MAC computers during their passage to the Intel architecture. And it’s not uniquely for a faster boot that EFI will be integrated, although Mark Doran states that with UEFI users will see an improvement in the boot times although it won’t be as fast as the instant-on OS’.
According to Mark Doran, UEFI should start to become generalised in 2011. The technology has been supported in Windows since Vista SP1. In the summer, MSI mentioned that they would be abandoning BIOS in their motherboards.