LinuxBIOS ready to go mainstream
The LinuxBIOS project is almost set to roll! Linux.com has some information available:
After seven years of work, the LinuxBIOS
project is on the brink of making a free BIOS a standard option for computers. Serious obstacles remain, including a lack of resources and resistance from some proprietary chipset manufacturers and OEMs, but the advantages of LinuxBIOS indicate that its availability to the average computer buyer may be only months away.
In addition to its philosophical and political goals, LinuxBIOS represents a chance to rethink computer BIOSes. Active members of the project describe proprietary BIOSes as hopelessly mired in the thinking of 30 years ago. Unlike its proprietary equivalents, LinuxBIOS is written in C, rather than assembly language, making debugging and updating quicker and easier -- a crucial consideration in a market where new chipsets are released every six months and vendors have no time to make major modifications in anything except the most high-end boards.
Smith also observes that at a time when the cost of licensing a BIOS from a chipset manufacturer "is becoming a larger portion of the price of the motherboard" and the size of proprietary BIOSes requires more Flash ROM, LinuxBIOS offers a free, smaller -- and therefore cheaper -- alternative. Given the decreasing profit margins on computer hardware, Smith expects that cost alone will make LinuxBIOS increasingly attractive to vendors.