Will BIOS Be Extinct in Three Years?

Thinq (via Hacker News) spoke with folks at motherboard maker MSI. Reading through the comments from the insider at MSI, it is clear that the remaining challenges are considerable. The modern replacement for the aging BIOS–text only, written in assembly, is UEFI. The fact that it is written is C and is capable of interfacing with more modern peripherals like extremely large drives is attractive but it comes at the price of considerable re-tooling. It actually sounds like drive makers are the ones really pushing for the newer system for bootstrapping, dragging motherboard makers along after them.

What is the average lifespan of a motherboard model? I am wondering where Thinq came up with the three year figure in their lede. Is it the case that if MSI and others cut over to all UEFI capable products, the existing BIOS based ones will age out by then? I suspect that has more to do with it than anything else.

I’ll admit to aligning with the if-it-ain’t-broke camp but I suspect that continually adding layers of cruft onto BIOS to bridge the gap between successive generations of peripherals undoubtedly long ago passed the point of sustainability. I don’t often seen BIOS any more, as a result of either running systems already using EFI or using Linux on ones which still use BIOS and rarely needing to reboot. Still BIOS is a fixture in my earliest and still fond recollections of hacking around on the family PC. I’m sure I will miss it, if only a little, when it is finally gone.

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