Coming Soon: Say Goodbye to Bios, Say Hello to Booting Your PC in Seconds


The BBC is reporting that Bios, the software that starts up your system, soon will be on its deathbed.  A new system, Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, “will predominate in new PCs by 2011.”  Bios, the article points out, was never intended to be extensible over time, and has outlived its usefulness.  Mark Doran, head of the organization overseeing development of the technology, talked about its main benefit.

For consumers, said Mr Doran, the biggest obvious benefit of a machine running UEFI will be the speed with which it starts up.

“At the moment it can be 25-30 seconds of boot time before you see the first bit of OS sign-on,” he said. “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,” he said “and we’re getting closer to that every day.”

There are other benefits to UEFI as well, such as less trouble handling large drive sizes, and easier handling of extra peripherals.

The real question though – will we really ever see this?  And how many hours of your life will you save by eliminating a long boot sequence?

Image by ryuuji.y

Evan Kline

Hello, I'm Evan. I write about tech from my perspective – that of the average 40-something tech geek. You can also find me on Twitter and at my real-life job as a lawyer.    MORE ABOUT ME.


  1. A simple visit to your local Apple Store will cure any long boot time issue you may have. :)

    • Yes I too would love to have £2000 to spend on an over hyped under powered PC =)

      Seriously this cant come fast enough. I have my boot time down to 1 min 20 seconds now and just use the sleep function which instantly gives me a working PC. I’m surprised someone hasn’t worked out a way to load the OS onto a some sort of permanent ram function so that a PC boots instantly from cold. No matter, welcome news.

    • A Mac will be in the future for me some day, but right now I tinker too much, so I can’t make the sacrifices to use a Mac as my primary system. Using Linux also lately, I realize how much of what I do is tied into Windows.

  2. This is going to be weird – after so many years of BIOS. But still it’s going to be great to boot in seconds. Although I still don’t understand how a pre-start routine can increase the speed of loading kernel and stuff like that….

    • I’m not sure I understand how they plan to do it. I wonder why they don’t just improve PC’s so their sleep modes are like how an iPad or iPhone works – they come on instantly.

  3. I’ll be honest, I didn’t understand about 85% of the tech in this article – however, the important part, faster boot times, I got that loud and clear, and I welcome it with open arms. Goodbye BIOS, or whatever your name is.

  4. For my home computers, bootup speed is fairly irrelevant. I reboot once every few weeks.

    I take my work laptop home every night in hibernate mode (I’m always on call). I’d love to have an instant-on connection after I dock at the office.

  5. What I really love to have is switch-like bootup – it’s either On of Off. When I switch it On, the login in screen comes up instantaneously. Cutting the bootup time down ro just a little below the average 25-30 seconds does not really bring a new approach to this. 10-15 seconds less to my existing bootup time make no difference to me.

  6. While this would certainly be nice, I don’t know that I would use it enough to be concerned. I simply don’t turn my computer off enough for it to be an issue. Sleep at night, runs all day, sleep again… The only time I have to see the BIOS is when I’m restarting after an install or upgrade.

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