As much as things have progressed since we started up in 1999, one thing that has remained relatively constant was the BIOS interface (and of course it goes back even further!). Text-based, unresponsive, slow-booting BIOS interfaces are just something that we have grown to tolerate over the years. But all that is changing, finally.
The first motherboard manufacturer to confirm a full switch to UEFI from BIOS is MSI, who say they will start using it on upcoming Intel Sandy Bridge motherboards. And within three years, they will have completely replaced BIOS on all their boards.
This step is apparently a necessary one, or at least it will be once hard drives with capacities higher than 2 TB start hitting the market. According to Seagate, a UEFI interface will be required to support such drives.
So if you’ve ever had an obnoxious Apple fanboy tell you how much faster their Mac boots compared to your PC, you know you have at least one thing to look forward to in the coming years. There’s a lot more to UEFI of course; I recommend starting here for a good overview of the main benefits.
One thing I am worried about though, is what kind of interfaces these board makers will come up with. It has taken Microsoft decades to come up with a good interface for their OS, and we’re all aware of the atrociously ugly programs motherboard manufacturers use for their various applications…